《The Function of Grommets》
Before explaining the function of the plastic grommets on the frame sides that are neatly sequenced, we have to bring you back to the age of wood rackets. Catgut was used back then without the plastic grommets on the sides.
Metal rackets made of iron and aluminum were created in the times when metal products became prevalent. However, after the metal racket frames were drilled, sharp metal burrs were created around the holes, which led to scrapes or snapping by the sharp angle in the process of stringing. For the purpose of “protecting the strings,” plastic grommets were invented to prevent strings from being scraped by the metal burrs around the holes with their arc surface and smooth texture features.
And when the carbon fiber rackets were introduced, despite the characteristics of the carbon fibers like lightweight, stiffness and good flexibility, the materials and production techniques of nylon strings were also improving. The changes that came along were thinner strings and higher string tensions when players did the stringing. The tightened strings can be so destructive as knives.
The abovementioned issues kept testing whether carbon-fiber racket frames could keep up with the string strength in terms of manufacturing techniques. Rackets that failed to keep up with string strengths would collapse due to the stringing. As the issue of insufficient racket frame strength had yet to be resolved, the plastic products that were initially meant to “protect the strings” were added for more thickness to cover the existing problem of racket frames collapsing. Over time, the plastic grommets have been mistaken to be able to “protect the racket frames.”
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Can you imagine how the striking would feel with a whole racket all made of plastics? In fact, the less plastic products are used on the rackets, the lighter the load, and the more intact the handling would feel when you strike the shuttles, with the power transmitted more directly. Hence, as long as the stringing holes can be smooth, the strings won’t be scraped. Coupled with sufficient strength in racket frames, stringing should not lead to collapse of racket frames under normal circumstances and the grommets aren’t necessary.