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The inside story of how two British scientists collaborated with HEAD on Auxetic technology, with the second generation providing you with even better feel.


The original Auxetic technology was sensational; the second generation is even better, creating the ultimate connection between player and racquet. Now used in more parts of HEAD frames, Auxetic 2.0 technology actively responds to every shot and provides real-time, accurate feedback – that gives you a feel like never before, supercharging your confidence.

Informed by HEAD’s extensive research into the optimal use of Auxetic 2.0, the state-of-the-art technology is now positioned in both the carbon engineered yoke of the racquet and within the revolutionary carbon structure at the end of the grip. With an Auxetic cage, you feel the impact when and where the action happens. With improved shock absorption and a solid impact feel, you have the ultimate connection with your racquet. Double the technology in every swing, double the connection with your racquet.

What is Auxetic technology?

What connects HEAD tennis racquets with nuclear reactors that have been built to withstand earthquakes, as well as to the cutting edge of aerospace and biomedicine? 

The answer - and this promises to give you sensational feel with every shot you play, boosting your confidence - is Auxetic technology. Named after the Greek word 'auxetos', which means 'that which grows', Auxetic materials do something very surprising when a ‘pull’ force is applied: they expand. They have another counterintuitive property - when squeezed, they contract. And the bigger the applied force, the bigger the Auxetic reaction.

Tennis players of all levels - from beginners to the elite athletes on the ATP and WTA Tours - will have more confidence in their games thanks to the Auxetic 2.0 technology in the yoke piece and the end of the grip. When you hit the ball, the Auxetic 2.0 technology actively responds by adapting its internal structure – that’s what gives you excellent feedback and a solid impact feel.

On ball impact, a large force is applied to the yoke piece, caused by the strings pulling it towards the center of the racquet. Depending on where the ball impacts the string bed, the force will be applied at different locations in the yoke piece. Research has shown how the technology will improve your feel on every ball you play, even when you hit the ball off-center, outside the sweetspot.

HEAD was the first sports manufacturer to make tennis racquets with Auxetic technology. And, according to the two British scientists who have collaborated on the project with HEAD, it's a technological breakthrough in tennis racquet engineering that could potentially transform the sport and perhaps even the entire sports industry.

"This is a hugely exciting project," says Professor Andrew Alderson from Sheffield Hallam University. Alderson, who has been researching Auxetic materials for the best part of 30 years, collaborated on the project with Dr Thomas Allen from Manchester Metropolitan University, a global expert on tennis racquet technology. 

Alderson feels "a huge amount of pride" to have worked with HEAD on this project: "This is big. Auxetic materials have properties that conventional materials don't. That includes enhancing vibration dampening and energy absorption, and after Tom told HEAD what I was working on they said they wanted to have a look at how they could use Auxetic materials in their racquets." 

HEAD's on-site factory meant it was faster and easier to make prototypes, speeding up the development process. The feedback from players was extremely positive. "HEAD did trials with players and my understanding is that the Auxetic technology increases players' confidence in their shots as you get an enhanced feel for the ball, including when it is off-center," says Alderson. "If it's slightly off-center it stretches some strings more than others, and you're getting a reaction where you need it, so you're getting more feeling and control. That's feeding back to the player who can feel the shot better, and that gives them more confidence in the execution of their shot." 

Auxetic technology can encourage players to hit the ball with more pace and spin. "If you're hitting the ball more confidently that allows you to hit it harder and apply more spin. The speed of the game is always increasing.

Tennis racquets are always improving in some way. What we can't say yet is whether Auxetic could bring about a step change in the sport, but that's a possibility," says Allen. "If racquets have better feel and are easier to use, that's going to encourage more people to play. And when you have a larger population of players, that could result in improvements at elite level." 

While Auxetic 2.0 technology boosts the performance of HEAD racquets, so does the Graphene material, which is strategically positioned in most of our frames. Graphene strengthens the frame, provides greater stability and optimizes the energy transfer from racquet to ball.

Tennis isn't the only sport in which you can experience the sensational feel of Auxetic construction - it's also being used for HEAD padel and squash racquets. Whether you're on a tennis, padel or squash court, the Auxetic 2.0 technology will boost your confidence.

While the Auxetic technology has improved with the second generation, the scientists have said this could just be the start of the Auxetic story for HEAD. “HEAD could really explore what they can do with Auxetic materials. Auxetic opens up so many possibilities about how you can make racquets. In years in come, I hope that HEAD will be using Auxetic materials in ways that we can't even think of right now,” Allen says.

“It could be that, because of Auxetic materials, HEAD will end up making tennis racquets completely differently in the future, including with new shapes. It could make it easier to have smart racquets with sensors in them, and there could be sustainability benefits. In years to come, we might find ourselves looking back and saying, 'That was the first tennis racquet with Auxetic composites, that was the racquet that changed the sport'. That would be massive." 

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