A combination of experimental and numericals analyses to measure the compressive mechanical properties of tennis ball

Alireza Karimi, Susumu Kudo, Reza Razaghi, Mahdi Navidbakhsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Tennis is almost a newly born sport (1859) that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each, namely doubles. Materially, tennis balls were made of cloth strips stitched together from thread. They have also been made of hollow rubber with a felt coating appearing in different colors from traditionally white to yellow in the recent years to permit their visibility. Although the most common injuries associated with tennis have been reported to be related to rotator cuff, elbow, wrist, anterior knee pain, and ankle, the injury that a tennis ball can cause, for example, for eye is still not clear. However, as the tennis ball can reach to a speed of 260 km/h, it seems vital to understand its mechanical properties to have a deep insight into the injury that can happen during playing. Therefore, this study aimed to perform an experimental study to evaluate the linear elastic and nonlinear hyperelastic mechanical properties of the tennis ball under compressive loading. To do this, 40 numbers of approved tennis balls by international tennis federation (ITF) were prepared and subjected to a series of compressive loadings. The strain of the balls was measured via a pair of CCD cameras using digital image correlation (DIC) technique. The results revealed the mean elastic modulus, maximum stress, and strain of 336.69 kPa, 410.15 kPa, and 66%, for the tennis balls, respectively. The nonlinear mechanical behavior of the tennis balls were also computationally investigated through a hyperelastic material model, namely Ogden. Finally, a finite element (FE) model was executed to verify the hyperelastic data with that of experimental and, interestingly, the numerical data were in good agreement with experimental ones. The findings of this study may have implications not only for understanding the compressive mechanical properties of the tennis ball, but also for investigating the injury that can occur in the human body by tennis ball, especially the eye.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1550039
    JournalBiomedical Engineering - Applications, Basis and Communications
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2015

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Biophysics
    • Bioengineering
    • Biomedical Engineering


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