Brad Haddin helps cricket bat researchers

The question has always been, why the
female species of this particular English Willow makes the best cricket
bat? So the aim has been, for this project, to understand the
difference between the small features within the structure of
the Willow and to see how these small differences give rise to
particular mechanical properties required for a good cricket bat. If you know cricketers, they’re obsessed
with with cricket bats. So to be here today to contribute in
some way to maybe make a better cricket bat, I think I’m the
envy of every cricket player in the world at the moment. Each cell is encased, surrounded by the membrane
of fibers and cellulose. And these fibers are kind of intertwined and they create lots of cells
that are filled with air and the membrane of these
cells, they have to be just right, not too weak, not too strong. So
when the cricket ball hits the surface of
the cricket bat the cells deform enough to spring back to original shape so the ball can basically bounce-back
the surface. We think we know a lot about why cricket bat works, and now it will be
great to see the science behind what actually
makes a great cricket bat. Using the tomography facility in Applied Maths, we are able to
extract the 3D structure. So essentially it’s a three-dimensional
microscope that can blow out the tiny little features as
small as one – two micron, you can actually fly
through these beautiful structure, the labyrinth of complex patterns and
structures and connected or disconnected features inside the the material.
I’m very interested to see what the end result is with the difference between Cashmere Willow and the top grade English Willow is why why the players bats are so much
different. And if he could squeeze in the the good and the bad from there, I think
the possibilities are endless. If we find a good alternative for the
English Willow, hopefully we will be able to produce
good quality, maybe even test grade bats at a real cheap price. Every boy and girl will be able to
use top quality cricket bats.

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