In order to discover and validate the impact strength and flexibility of our HIKSTIK wood shafts, we went to the expense of destructive comparison testing our shafts (hickory, ash, oak, and purpleheart laminate), as well as testing some of the more popular, widely available alloy shafts on the market today (two brands of alloy 6000 series shafts, a set of alloy 7000 series shafts, and a set of alloy shafts known for high strength due to its content of titanium). What we discovered was that well-made HIKSTIK shafts are more flexible than the alloy shafts. Our purpleheart laminate has the same impact strength as the alloy 6000 shafts tested. And our hickory HIKSTIK shafts have the same flex properties and are 39% stronger than the toughest metal alloy shaft we tested.
To find and compare the flex properties of our test shafts, we suspended weights from 5 pounds in increments up to 50 pounds, onto the end of the test shaft. A laser level on the shaft was used to generate a flex value measurement 180 inches from the weighted tip of the shaft. This allowed us to easily collect data and make comparative assessments of shaft flexibility.
We found the alloy shafts were very consistent among similar brands for flexibility properties, while wood shafts display some variability in flex properties. This was not unexpected because each wood shaft has varying organic properties: grain pattern, grain density, moisture content, and specific gravity. We were able, however, to demonstrate that flex properties of wood shafts are fairly consistent within each wood type. Our oak and ash shafts are more flexible than any of the alloy shafts we tested. The hickory HIKSTIK shaft had more flexibility than the most flexible alloy shaft series; the titanium alloy. The purpleheart laminate displayed the stiffest of the flex values of our wood test subjects, but very similar to the alloy flex values.
|Shaft Type||Flex Value||Shaft Type||Flex Value|
|6000 (1) Alloy||5.2||Hickory||7.3 - 8.4|
|6000 (2) Alloy||6.1||Oak||8.6 - 9.2|
|7000 Alloy||5.8||Ash||10.2 - 11.3|
|Titanium Alloy||6.6||Purpleheart Lam||6.5 - 7.5|
A test subject lacrosse shaft was fixed in a test stand, supported horizontally at two points, 22 inches apart. To find the impact force that caused the subject shaft to fail, a weighted mass, simulating a checking shaft, was suspended above the test subject and then released to drop by gravity onto the test shaft. By knowing the mass value and measuring the height of the drop, we were able to calculate the impact force in foot-pounds, absorbed by the subject test shaft. The impact-drop-test was repeated until the test shaft failed.
The impact test-to-failure was spectacular to watch. Imagine dropping a 5-pound dumb-bell from the height of a basketball hoop. The force it hits the ground with is about 50 foot-pounds. It takes a lot of force to make a shaft fail; both wood and metal. The HIKSTIK purpleheart laminate has similar impact strength to the series 6000 alloys. The HIKSTIK hickory shaft, though, has incredible strength. It consistently measured 39% stronger than the toughest alloy shaft we tested, was 83% stronger than the alloy 6000 series and 48% stronger than the 7000 series.
|Shaft Type||Impact Strength||Shaft Type||Impact Strength|
|6000 (1) Alloy||21.2 ft-lbs||Hickory||46.5 ft-lbs|
|6000 (2) Alloy||25.3 ft-lbs||Oak||15.7 ft-lbs|
|7000 Alloy||31.4 ft-lbs||Ash||16.8 ft-lbs|
|Titanium Alloy||32.7 ft-lbs||Purpleheart Lam||22.2 ft-lbs|
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