Tribology Letters

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 101–105 | Cite as

Table Tennis: Preliminary Displacement in Pimples-Out Rubber

Original Paper


Following the recent trend of applying a more scientific approach to the study of all aspects of racket sports, we have developed a simple tribological method allowing to characterize unequivocally and unbiased by human factor the frictional behavior of table tennis rubber racket covering. This technique suggests examining the performance of rubber coverings at the onset of sliding against the table tennis ball by using three non-dimensional parameters, “friction,” “stickiness,” and “grip.” However, while “friction” and “stickiness” parameters were elaborated well, the “grip” parameter was only outlined due to the lack of actual determination of preliminary displacement on which it is based. To fill this gap, here we focus on studying preliminary displacement in four short and four long pimples-out rubbers. It is also found that a particular attention should be paid for the environmental conditions under which the three parameters are determined.


Ping pong Racket covering Friction Gripping 


  1. 1.
    Yamaoka, H.: Tribology of table tennis rubber. Jpn. J. Tribol. 39, 39–47 (1994)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Tiefenbacher, K., Durey, A.: The impact of the table tennis ball on the racket (backside coverings). Int. J. Table Tennis Sci. 2, 1–14 (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
  4. 4.
    Harrison, J.R.: Recent problems with equipment. Int. J. Table Tennis Sci. 5, 96–100 (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lees, A.: Science and the major racket sports: a review. J. Sports Sci. 21, 707–732 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Varenberg, M., Varenberg, A.: Table tennis rubber: tribological characterization. Tribol. Lett. 47, 51–56 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gooding, A.: Should I use short pips? Accessed 2013 Sep (2007)
  8. 8.
    Letts, G.: Spin reversal. Accessed Sep 2013
  9. 9.
    Letts, G.: Table tennis: what styles should use long pimples? Accessed Sep 2013
  10. 10.
    Murarash, B., Itovich, Y., Varenberg, M.: Tuning elastomer friction by hexagonal surface patterning. Soft Matter 7, 5553–5557 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Murarash, B., Varenberg, M.: Tribometer for in situ scanning electron microscopy of microstructured contacts. Tribol. Lett. 41, 319–323 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mo, Y., Turner, K.T., Szlufarska, I.: Friction laws at the nanoscale. Nature 457, 1116–1119 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Derjaguin, B.V.: Molecular theory of friction and sliding. Zhurn. Phis. Khim (in Russian) 5, 1165–1172 (1934)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Derjaguin, B.V., Toporov, YuP: Influence of adhesion on the sliding and rolling friction. Prog. Surf. Sci. 45, 317–327 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Letts, G.: Table tennis: why do long pimples ‘wobble’? Accessed Sep 2013

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechnion, IITHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Bateman Litwin CoYokneamIsrael

Personalised recommendations