Date of Award
Golf, Flax Fiber, Sustainability, Sports, Composites, Hybrid
As with many industries, technology is improving in the golf world, but sacrifices made to improve performance have resulted in polluting materials and manufacturing processes. These cutting-edge designs support the specifications and playing abilities of a small professional minority while exceeding the needs of much of the golf community. To minimize the emissions created through golf shaft manufacturing, it was hypothesized that the needs of the amateur player could still be satisfied through a less capable yet more sustainable material. Research on and eventual introduction of these materials into commercial golf shafts will significantly improve the sustainability of the sport. This design aimed to use pre-impregnated unidirectional flax fiber sheets to create a structurally viable composite hybrid golf shaft. A hybrid golf club was selected for its commonplace use among amateur players and shorter existence compared to older club designs such as irons or drivers, suggesting that hybrids have more optimization potential than other club designs. The design process was reduced to an optimization problem with various performance parameters established prior to the design. Multiple iterations of the shaft design were simulated and compared to these parameters until a design satisfying all constraints was found. Testing and simulation processes particularly focused on swing weight calculations for each design and FEA analysis testing in SolidWorks to evaluate the stresses and deflections of the shaft under various loads. Once the design requirements were satisfied, physical prototypes of the design were constructed using an autoclave to cure the composite around a cylindrical mandrel.
Pelletier, Kenyon, "Development of an Affordable Hybrid Golf Shaft Using Sustainable Materials" (2023). Honors Theses. 2733.