Modeling Deformation Behavior of the Baseball

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Rochelle Llewelyn Nicholls The University of Western Australia

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Karol Miller The University of Western Australia

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Bruce C. Elliott
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Regulating ball response to impact is one way to control ball exit velocity in baseball. This is necessary to reduce injuries to defensive players and maintain the balance between offense and defense in the game. This paper presents a model for baseball velocity-dependent behavior. Force-displacement data were obtained using quasi-static compression tests to 50% of ball diameter (n = 70 baseballs). The force-displacement curves for a very stiff baseball (Model B) and a softer type (Model C) were characterized by a Mooney-Rivlin model using implicit finite element analysis (ANSYS software, version 6.1). Agreement between experimental and numerical results was excellent for both Model B (C10 = 0, C01 = 3.7e6 Pa) and Model C (C10 = 0, C01 = 2.6e6 Pa). However, this material model was not available in the ANSYS/LSDYNA explicit dynamic software (version 6.1) used to quantify the transient behavior of the ball. Therefore the modeling process was begun again using a linear viscoelastic material. G∞, the long-term shear modulus of the material, was determined by the same implicit FEA procedure. Explicit FEA was used to quantify the time-dependent response of each ball in terms of instantaneous shear modulus (G0) and a decay term (β). The results were evaluated with respect to published experimental data for the ball coefficient of restitution at five velocities (13.4–40.2 ms–1) and were in agreement with the experimental values. The model forms the basis for future research on baseball response to impact with the bat.

School of Mechanical Engineering

School of Human Movement and Exercise Science, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Perth, WA 6907, Australia.

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