Aluminium baseball bats became popular because they were lighter in weight, hollow and do not break like the traditional wooden bats. Composite bats are a relatively new type of bat. Composite bats are composed of glass, carbon and Kevlar fibres. Composite bats are lighter than aluminium bats and are designed to increase swing speed. There are multiple science projects that can be performed to compare aluminium and composite bats.
Aluminium Versus Composite
Set up an experiment to test to see which type of bat hits the ball the farthest, aluminium or composite. Set up a tee and cones with the known distance from the plate. Also have measuring tape available if necessary. Make sure you have someone who can stand in the outfield and record the length of the hit. Collect data from 20 hits from at least three experienced baseball players, of the same calibre, using both the aluminium and composite bat. Record all data and prepare a graph to compare distances.
Weights in Aluminum Bats
Test to see if the weight of the aluminium bats affects the players' hits. Decreasing the weight of the bat may increase the bat swing speed; however, the lower mass may decrease the collision between the bat and the ball. Get at least four aluminium bats with different weights with the same length. Ask at least three experienced baseball players to help with your experiment. Set up a tee and cones with the known distance from the plate. Also have measuring tape available if necessary. Collect data from 20 hits from each batter. Record all data and prepare a graph to compare distances.
Performace of Aluminum and Composite Bats
Create an experiment to see if composite bats outperform aluminium bats. Go to an indoor batting cage and set the pitching machine to a specified speed. Find at least three experienced baseball players to help in the study. Using a stopwatch time how long it takes for the batted ball to reach the back of the batting cage. Make sure each batter hits at least 30 balls with each type of bat. Record the data and plot in a graph.
Compare the sound the bat makes when it connects with a ball in different types of aluminium and composite bats. Aluminium bats produce a ping sound when contact is made with a ball. Composite bats produce a pop sound. Get three different types of both aluminium and composite bats. Find three experienced baseball players. Have the batters hit and make good contact with 20 balls from a pitching machine using each bat. Assign a loudness number to the sound created from the bat, such as zero for no sound, one for some sound and two for loud. Record results and sum the values for each bat. The bat with the highest sound should have the best performance.