Paris -- Michelin rubber engineers have been working with Cornilleau SA, France's premier supplier to the table-tennis industry, to create rubber compounds for use in a new generation of bats.
The new bats are based on a blade made from composite materials, but also have new playing surfaces, based on a new compound and new geometries. The aim was to produce a bat for use by amateur players, that would survive, even when left outside in the rain and bright sunshine.
According to a press statement from Michelin, the new bat does not use any glue, nor any foam padding behind the playing surface. The bat is injection moulded and the playing surface is then co-moulded directly on to the bat.
According to the statement, this production method results in a playing surface that does not peel from the blade, resulting in a bat with much longer life than conventional bats. Michelin added that the rubber compound is resistant to ageing effects of high temperature and UV radiation, but did not name the polymer upon which the compound is based.