Fastpitch Softball Bat Glossary
Last Update: 12/16/2013
Fastpitch Softball Bat Glossary
Glossary of Terms Commonly-Used in the Discussion of Fastpitch
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Many of these terms are from the research and work of Dr. Daniel Russel of Kettering University’s Applied Physics Department in Flint, Michigan. Please refer to Dr. Daniel Russell’s web site to read more about the dynamics of a baseball / softball bat striking a ball.
BARREL: This term refers to the widest portion of the bat, generally measuring between 2.25 inches and 2.75 inches in diameter. BAT PERFORMANCE FACTOR (BPF): Most aluminum bats have BPF values near 1.20 and some super high performing bats have BPF values around 1.30 or higher. CARBON LINING: Some manufacturers add a carbon lining in the construction of a Fastpitch Softball Bat to increase strength. For example, the Easton C-Core and Z-Core Fastpitch Softball Bats have carbon fiber bonded to the inside of the barrel walls for increased strength and durability. CRYOGENICALLY TREATED ALUMINUM: This is a manufacturing process of Fastpitch Softball Bats whre the alloy is frozen and reheated to provide greater durability, less vibration and 2-4% greater distance. DOUBLE WALL:This is a popular Fastpitch Softball Bat construction technique where the barrel of the bat has two ultra-thin walls independent of each other but spaced close together. The intent of this design is to intensify the “trampoline” effect (performance) of the Fastpitch Softball Bat and indeed independent testing has proven double wall bats provide an edge in performance. The downside is doublewall Fastpitch Softball Bats dent easier and are more expensive.
GRAPHITE BATS: This is a material used in the construction of many Fastpitch Softball Bats that result in bats that are stronger and lighter than those made with high-grade aluminum. Graphite Fastpitch Softball Bats are either made of a graphite-fiber composite material or have an aluminum core with graphite lining.
GRIP: Fastpitch Softball Bat manufacturers use leather, sythetic leather, composite material or rubber on the tapered end of the bat where the player grips the bat to swing. Generally leather grips provide the best hold of the Fastpitch Softball Bat but don’t perform as well if they get wet. Rubber absorbs vibrations better than the other materials but typically doesn’t hold up as well.
HALF AND HALF TECHNOLOGY: This term describes the construction of Fastpitch Softball Bats where the barrel of the bat is made of one material while the handle of the bat is made of another. Usually the handle is a composite material while the barrel is aluminum alloy creating a two-piece Fastpitch Softball Bat which some say increases the “trampoline effect”.
LIQUID METAL BATS: Fastpitch Softball Bats manufactured with zirconium and titanium-based Liquidmetal alloys achieve yield strength twice that of conventional crystalline titanium alloys with superior elasticity — up to three times that of other alloys. Due to their non-crystalline (amorphous) structures, the materials create Fastpitch Softball Bats that are harder and more elastic than alloys of titanium or aluminum used in similar applications.