|Número de publicación||US3854316 A|
|Tipo de publicación||Concesión|
|Fecha de publicación||17 Dic 1974|
|Fecha de presentación||22 Ene 1973|
|Fecha de prioridad||13 Sep 1971|
|Número de publicación||US 3854316 A, US 3854316A, US-A-3854316, US3854316 A, US3854316A|
|Cesionario original||Aluminum Co Of America|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (5), Citada por (25), Clasificaciones (10)|
|Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Wilson 1451 Dec. 17, 1974 METHOD OF MAKING A HOLLOW w 3,691,625 9/1972 Swenck 273 72 METAL BAT WITH A UNIFORM WALL 3,697,069 10/1972 Merola 273/72 THICKNESS Richard C. Wilson, Arcadia, Calif.
Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Filed: Jan. 22, '1973 Appl.'No.: 325,423
Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 179,666, Sept. 13, 1971.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1924 ShroyerQJr. 273/72 8/l93l Muller 72/76 ll/l952 Richards 72/76 Primary Examiner-Lowell A. Larson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Elroy Strickland 5 7 ABSTRACT A method of making a hollow metal ball bat having a wall thickness along the length thereof that is substantially uniform thereby providing a weight ratio for the handle and barrel portions of the bat that approximates the diameters of the handle and barrel portions. The handle portion of the bat is formed by a swaging process which reduces the diameter of a portion of a metal tube blank, having generally a uniform diameter and wall thickness, on a mandrel having a substantially uniform diameter. The mandrel is effective to maintain the uniform wall thickness ofthe blank by forcing the metal thereof to flow longitudinally from the end of the blank forming the handle portion of the bat.
2 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures DIIIIIIIIII I/IIIIII PATENTEL SEC] 71974 This is a division of application Ser. No. 179,666, filed Sept. 13, 'l97l'.
BACKGROUND OE THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to hollow, metal ball bats, and particularly to a high strength, hollow metal bat having a weight distribution approximating that of a solid wooden baseball bat.
In the manufacture of metal ball bats, the practice has been, in someinstances, to, provide the bats with weights in the barrel (i.e., the ball striking end of the bat) in order to enhance the effectiveness of the bat, and to simulate the weight distribution of a solid wooden bat. Examples of such structures are shown in the Shroyer, Jr. and Middlekauff US. Pat. Nos. 1,499,128 and 1,611,858 respectively.
On the other hand, hollow metal bats-have been made with a substantially uniform weight per unit length of the bat, for example, as shown in the Merola US. Pat. No. 3,479,030. In the Merola patent, this is accomplished by reducing the diameter of a portion of a metal tube blankin a swaging operation to form. the handle portion of the bat, the blank having a substantially uniform starting diameter and wall thickness. As the blank is reduced in diameter, a substantially thickened metal wall is produced in. the thus formed handle I portion which maintains the above-mentioned uniforrn weight per unit length characteristic.
Hollow metal bats have been strengthened in a variety of ways. In the above-mentioned Middlekauff patent, an inner sleeve is secured in the barrel end of the bat 'alongwith a weighted insert which closes the end of the bat. In a Taylor et al. US. Pat. No., 2,340,156, integral, longitudinally. extending ribs are employed on the inside wall surface of a bat to strengthen the bat.
By virtue of the additional metal and materials of the weights, sleeves and ribs as well as the labor and maters of the handle do not reduce the strength of the ban-- I dle beyond that required for the bat. Thus, any increase chines involved in making and assembling'such structures of the above, prior art bats, unnecessary-costs are added to the bats. In view of such structures, a hollow metal bat is needed having a weight distribution that is inherently non-uniform and corresponding to that of a wooden bat without the. necessity of adding weights to the barrel end thereof to obtain such a weight distribution. Further, a hollow metal bat is needed which has a high strength, long life characteristic without the necessity of reinforcing cylinders or integral, internal ribs.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides such a bat, and a simple, economical method of making the bat. The deportions approximates the ratio of the outer or innerdiameters of handle and barrel portions thereby providing the bat with a balance approximating that of a wooden bat without the necesssity of adding weights to the barrel end of the bat.
- An additional advantageof such a bat structure is the savings in metal. The reduced outer and inner diame- [the bat.
in the thickness of the handle wall portion beyond that thickness required for suitable handle strength is wasted metal which adds unnecessarily to the cost of the bat.
, The bat of the present invention is made by swaging the outer and inner diameters of an end portion of a metal tube blank on a constant diameter mandrel, the blank having originally a substantially uniform diameter and wall thickness and the mandrel serving to control the flow of metal during the swaging action in such a manner that thewall thickness of the swaged, i.e., reduced portion of the blank is maintained at substanfound to be suitable for the invention though the inven' tion is not limited thereto. After the blank is swaged, it
is tempered to provide a high strength, stress corrosion resistant metal for long bat life as explained in greater I detail hereinafter.
The Drawing The invention, along with its advantages and objectives, will be more apparent after consideration of the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawing in'which FIGS. -1 and 2show longitudinal sections of a bat constructed in accordance with the principles of the-present invention.
Preferred Embodiment of the Invention In reference to thedrawing,FlG. 1 shows the bat of prises a barrel portion 10 and a handle or grip portion 12, the wall thicknesses ofthe two portions being substantially the same to provide a weight distribution for the bat that is non-uniform along its length. By virtue of the same or similar ,wall thicknesses of the barrel and handle portions, and the differences in'the diameters of the two portions, the ratioof the weights of the two portions approximates the ratio of the outer or inner diameters of the two portions, and thus the weight dis tribution of a solid wooden baseball bat. Extending between and joining the two portions is a transition portion 13.
.In order not to affect substantially-the weight distribution of the finished bat, the open ends thereof (as shown in the drawing) are preferably closed respectively with plugs 14 and. 16 (shown in dash outline) made of a light weight', 'shock resistant material such as a natural or synthetic rubber, or a polyvinyl chloride .plastic, though other light weight, shock resistant mate rials and material combinations may be used. The plug 14 in the barrel end of the bat may be secured therein by the extremity of the barrel end being turned inwardly to engage the plug as shown in the drawing. The
' plug 16 in the handle end of the bat may include an integral sleeve l7- slipped over the handle portion (as shown) to provide a hand gripping area of rubber for The bat, as thus far described, is
truded or drawnto have a substantially uniform diameter andwall thickness. One end of the blank will form the barrel and'ball striking end 10 of the bat, and the made from a single piece metal tube blank (not shown) preferably exf 3 other end of the blank will form the handle and grip portion 12 of the bat.
In making the bat, the end 12 of the tube blank that will form the handle and the tapered portions 12 and 13 is inserted between conical dies of a swaging machine (not shown), the end portion 12 extending over a fixed mandrel 18 (FIG. 2) located between a portion the inside diameter reaches the diameter of the fixed, mandrel 18 it cannot be reduced further. The outsidediameter is further reduced by the conical dies and the metal is thinned along the handle portion 12. As this thinning occurs, the length of the handle increases towardthe free and open end of the handle 12. At the end of the swaging process, the thicknessof the handle and tapered portion of the bat are substantially the same as that of the barrel portion.
As can be appreciated, the .use of a mandrel in the swaging, diameter reducing process functions to keep the metal of thetube blank from thickening in the handle portion 12. In this-manner, the wall thickness of the handle portion is maintained at substantially the same thickness of the original-blank and thus essentially the same thickness of the barrel portion which does not undergo a reduction in diameter. With the reduction in diameter of the handle portion without a corresponding increase in wall thickness thereof, the weight per unit length of handle portion is substantiallyless than that of the barrel portion thereby approximating the weight distribution of awooden bat.
e For example, in one softball bat embodiment of the invention, the weight per unit of lengthof the handle portion, using 1 inch sections actually cut therefrom as the unit of length, averaged about 0.59 of an-ounce in comparison to an average weight of 0.91 of an ounce for 1 inch sections cut from the barrelof the same bat.
weighs 0.56 of an ounce per inch of handle length, and 1.32 ounces per inch of barrel length. As can be appreciated from these figures, the process of reducing the handle portion on'a mandrel produced a bat having a barrel portion substantially heavier than the handle portion.
Suitable metals for the swaging and tapering process are those of the 7XXX aluminum alloy series, the metals being annealed to facilitate the working of the metal in the swaging process.
loys employed, the metal of the bat is tempered preferably by the heat treating and age hardening (T6) process described in the Vernam et al. US. Pat. No. 3,171,760. In the processof swaging, the metal of the 5 bat is subjected to stresses which tend to weaken the metal. With subsequent stresses imposed on the bat via the normal use thereof, cracks can occur in the weakened areas of the bat which, in turn, allow corrosion to occur in the cracks thereby causing further weakening and deterioration of the metal. By the solution heat treating and age hardening (T6) process described in the Vernam et al. patent, the metal of the swaged bat is hardened and made resistant to stress corrosion cracking thereby. providing a long-life, dent-resistant bat without the need of further strengthening devices. Though the T6 temper is preferred for the bat of the invention, a T53 temper would suffice.
Wall thickness dimensions for the bat of the invention made from 7005 or 7075 aluminum alloys are preferably in the range of 0.080 to 0.130 of an inch for outside diameter barrelsrangin'g-from 2 to 2% inches.
From the foregoing description-it should now be apparent that a new and useful'ball bat having a weight distribution substantially the same as a wooden bat has been disclosed along with a novel method of making the bat. The bat, and the method of making-it, result in considerable savings in' metal, and thus savings in the cost of the bat'as well as effecting theweight distribution without theuse of weights added tothe barrel end of the bat. r
While the invention has been described in termsof 'preferred embodiments, the claims appended hereto are intended to encompass all embodiments which fall 'within the spirit of the invention.
Having thus described my invention andcertain embodiments thereof, I'claim: t I T l. A method of making a hollow metal bat having a non-uniform weight per unit length characteristic, said bat comprising anelongated hollow metal body having a cylindrical barrel portion of one diameter tapering through atransitionj portion to a cylindrical handle portion of reduced diameter, the method comprising the steps. of
placing a longitudinal portion of a hollow metal tube blank having a substantially uniform wall thicknessv I and diameter on a fixed mandrel having a constant outer diarneter corresponding to the inner diameter of the cylindrical handle portion to be formed on the mandrel,
maintaining a longitudinally fixed relative relationship between the mandrel and the tube blank,
reducing the inner-and outer diameters of the longitudinal portion of the tube placed on the mandrel to form the handle and transition portions of the bat body, and to provide the longitudinal .tube porthat of the hollow tube blank. 2. Theirnethod of claim l in which the metalof the hollow tube is reclucd'in diameter in an annealed contion with a wall thickness substantially the same as the metal with a T6 temper.
' 0 dition followed by heattreating and aging to provide After the swaging process or before the swaging process depending in'a large degree upon the metal and alv
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|Clasificación de EE.UU.||72/370.4, 72/76, 72/370.14, 473/566|
|Clasificación internacional||B21K17/00, B21K21/00|
|Clasificación cooperativa||B21K21/00, B21K17/00|
|Clasificación europea||B21K17/00, B21K21/00|