An interesting comparison of the features of softball bats aluminum vs composite, these are the two different type of materials used in the making of the softball bats.
Which one is the best softball bat?
Before we conclude something, let’s know about the manufacturing and the qualities of the material used in softball bats.
Aluminum Softball Bats
We all know aluminum right? Yes, Aluminum is a soft ductile element which abundantly found on earth. It’s cheap and easily available. The bats made of aluminum would be expensive but durable.
Probably the best thing about aluminum softball bats is the light weight and durability. So, we can say that durable Softball bats are made of aluminum. But there are certain limitations of aluminum when it comes to the making of softball bat. We shall discuss this in the comparison with composites.
Composite Softball Bats
Composite is an alloy made of different elements depending upon the features we want. So, we can say that a complex material made of certain quality components to get the maximum quality and features is known as composite.
It may contain aluminum, carbon and graphite etc. Composite softball bats have the most advanced features with minimum disadvantages because of the manufacturing of the composite material of softball bats.
Softball Bats Aluminum vs Composite
Let’s start the comparison of the features of the aluminum softball bats vs composite bats! The following are the features.
This table says it all! Have a look at the distinguished features of Composite bats.
|Sr. No||Composite softball bats||Aluminum Softball bats|
|1)||Made of Complex materials||Made of Aluminum|
|2)||Light Weight (depends on manufacturing)||Little Heavier (depends on manufacturing)|
|3)||Easy control of Swing Weight||It’s not easy to control Swing Weight|
|4)||Trampoline Effect Tuning Possible||Trampoline Tuning Not Possible!|
|5)||Bending Stiffness Tuning Possible||Bending Tuning fixed (That of Aluminum)|
|6)||Bending Vibrations are Highly Damped!||Bending Vibrations not highly damped|
|7)||Less chances of Sting||Normally there is a Sting on Mishits|
|8)||New Technology Used||Old Fashioned (Depends)|
Composite Bats Outperform Aluminum Bats
So, after reading the tabulated Data we can say that Composite softball bats are way better than aluminum softball bats. Latest Researches show that composite bats are the best because of the flexibility of the design and features according to the user requirements.
Now, as the composite bats are superior, here are the best features of composite bats and their explanation.
Read also: Best Youth Softball Bats of All Time
Composite Bats Advantages over Aluminum Bats
Let’s have a look at the advantages of composite bats over aluminum!
1. Easy control of Swing Weight in Composite Bats
From the basic principal of physics, we know when the bat hits the ball a collision occurs and the analysis suggest that performance can be maximized by either
- Adjusting the swing weight of the bat
- Constant swing speed by Players
Adjusting the swing weight of the bat is actually a bit difficult. If the softball players are able to bulk up their muscles and swing the bat faster, the speed will be faster due to higher bat swing speed.
On the other side, if one is able to maintain constant swing speed while using heavy and light weight bats, the speed will be faster in the heavier bat. Best results can be obtained by swinging the heavier bat faster.
And in Composite bats, swing weight control is easier and most important thing is the balance point for the composite bat is closer to the handle which makes a lower MOI (Moment of Inertia). This makes composite bat better than aluminum Softball bats.
2. Trampoline Effect of the Barrel can be Tuned
Trampoline effect can be tuned in composite softball bats when the bat is manufactured in such a way that the barrel is softer. In this case, both the barrel and ball compresses and there is less loss of energy during the collision which increases the overall performance.
3. Bending Stiffness can be Tuned
As the manufacturer has the choice to manufacture the composite material, it gives them the option of lowering the bending stiffness of the bat. This can be done without changing any of the stiffness properties in the barrel which directly affect the overall performance. So, you can get a bat designed which would “feel” better and sting less by adjusting the bending stiffness.
4. Bending Vibrations are Highly Damped
One of the important natural benefit of using composite material is the highly damped vibrations. The damping rate shows how quickly the amplitude of the vibrations goes to zero. In composite materials, it’s twice of the Aluminum. So, it’s clearly an edge to composite bats.
5. No Ping Sound in Composite Softball Bats!
Are you fed up of that Ping sound of aluminum bat when hit? In composite softball bats you won’t get that kind of unpleasing sound. Wooden bat would make you feel like it’s cracked when hit, Aluminum will make unpleasing Ping sound.
While the composite bats make a sound like ‘Pop’. If you’re switching from Aluminum to Composite bats, you’d need to get used to this new sound of the ‘pop’.
This is just because the contact time is very short in composite bats and compression rates are different from aluminum that’s why they sounds different.
Softball Bats Aluminum vs Composite Reviews and Expert Opinion
Aluminum bats are quite durable but dents are produced by hits making them much less effective. They produce ping sound and mishits sometimes sting really bad.
Composite bats have a poor reputation for performing poorly and even breaking in weather that is cooler. Also, aluminum bats are ready to use immediately, whereas composite bats need considerable breaking in hits. But considering overall performance, one can easily say composite bats are way better than aluminum.
Softball Bats Aluminum vs Composite Price Differences
Composite softball bats can be slightly expensive. They range in price from $200 to $400. Aluminum bats can also be very expensive but they are also available at low prices. A well designed aluminum bat can cost you up to 400$ and a cheap bat may be available at $40.
Softball Bats Aluminum vs Composite Final Decision Table
So, finally moving to the last round, here is the decision table for the two bats made of aluminum and composite.
|Feature (Name)||Aluminum||Composite||Decision (Winner)|
|Durability||Great but dents||Good||Composite|
|Stings (Sometimes)||Yes||No||Composite bat|
|Vibrations Damping||Very High||Low||Composite|
So, what’s your choice form Softball bats aluminum vs composite? Let’s know in the comments!