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Speed glue effect


Speedglue, the glue used in the practice of regluing your rubbers, has been used since the late 70's. I believe that the practice was attributed to Klampar or Surbek.

What the players do before each practice session or match is to peel off the rubber sheet from the wood blade, put fresh glue on both the blade and rubber sheets, and replace the rubbers back onto the wood. The secret is a solvent that is found in the glue - most commonly - trichloroethylene.

The trichloroethene can penetrate into the molecular network of the sponge effectively 'swelling' up the sponge (A crude analogy may be taking a sponge that the hard when dry and becomes soft wneh wet). The rubber sheet, when 'swelled' by tri-chloroethylene becomes much softer. This will do a few things to your bat.

The ball can penetrate further into the sponge of your rubber, in effect, making more contact with the blade. Thus, the more contact the ball has with the blade, the faster your shot will be.

Also, since you can sink the ball further into the spong you can generate more spin. The softer sponge also markedly increases the dwell time that the ball stays on your racket - so it can also increase your control.

Regluing is more effective with rubber sheets that have a soft sponge. The softer sponges have a less heavily cross-linked molecular network than hard sponges that allow the solvents to penetrate easier and swell/expand the sponge easier. Thus, there will be more of a regluing effect if you use a soft sponged rubber. However, a soft sponge will lose it's elastisity faster than a hard sponge.

Some disadvantages come with regluing. The first disadvantage is the decrease in elasticity of the sponge. When trichloroethylene penetrates the sponge and breaks apart molecular cross-links, the sponge becomes softer. When the solvent proceeds to evaporate from the sponge, the cross-links are not in the same condition as they were before the solvent was applied, and thus, a decrease in the elasticity/ resilience of the sponge. After about 20 regluings, there can be a significant change from the original character of the rubber.

The second disadvantage is the constant change is racket angle when playing. The effect of the solvent gradually decreases over time, and constant modifications in your racket angle must be done. Also, regluing will add weight to your bat each time you reglue because of the extra glue applied. Finally, the solvents used are usually very volatile, toxic, and could be cancerous.

Source : rec.sport.table-tennis


Last Update : 06 November, 2002

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