Tuesday, 24 April 2012 17:06

Hockey Stick Materials

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The wooden stick was the traditional weapon of the hockey player since the sport was invented. Quite durable, inexpensive and simple, it was the only choice available for years. The wooden stick has slowly but continuously improved over the years as manufacturers tried making sticks out different types of wood. However, as wood is an organic material, its mechanical properties vary from tree to tree and therefore from stick to stick. The stick durability, stiffness and overall feel lacked consistancy. To overcome these issues, laminated sticks were eventually developped. These sticks are manufactured by glueing together different types of wood and yielded sticks with increased performance compared to the single piece wooden sticks.

Eventually, manufacturers started using plastics and fibreglass layers to further enhance and protect the wooden sticks as the hardness of plastics and glass is much higher than that of wood. These layers were effective in increasing the durability of the sticks and this design is still used today.

 

In the 1980s, Easton, a manufacturer of aluminium baseball bats and archery arrows, developped and marketed the first accepted non-wooden stick, the easton aluminium. This stick was composed of a hollow aluminium shaft in which a wooden blade was inserted. Since aluminium is much stiffer than wood, a hollow stick with thin walls can offer the same stiffness as a full wooden stick. The Easton aluminium had the advantage of being lighter than conventional hockey sticks as well as being much more durable. As the properties of the aluminium and the manufacturing process can be controlled much more easily than with wooden sticks, there was also a consistency in feeling from stick to stick. Another upside to this design was that in the event of a break the shaft would be intact in most cases with the failure occuring in the wooden blade. The player only had to replace the wooden blade and not the entire stick.

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Read 13234 times Last modified on Sunday, 19 August 2012 17:42
Jean-Michel Roy

15+ Years experience as a goaltender

20+ Years experience playing hockey

Currently a goalie coach for Phil Martin's Goalie Academy.

E-mail: jm@thehockeyresource.ca

Connect with me on Google +

Website: www.thehockeyresource.ca
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