Wood vs. Aluminum

A recent news story on msn.com (http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/5697038?FSO1&ATT=HCP&GT1=8297) prompted me to post this. Has anybody seen any research on the exit velocities of baseball bats in regards to the wood vs. aluminum? Anything similar with wood vs. metal clubheads for golf clubs?

I would really like to find out if a baseball hit off an aluminum bat has a substantially higher velocity than a ball hit off a wood bat.

On a side note: I recall Mike Mussina being hit in the nose by a ball hit off a wood bat in the mid 1990s. Numerous other players have been hit in the majors in the same fashion, but the media generally neglects these stories in their reports.

The NCAA has an entire committee dedicated to setting standards for the “coefficient of restitution” of aluminum bats to decrease how fast balls come off the bat. Since aluminum bats flex less than wooden bats, they transfer more energy to the ball and have a larger “sweet spot.”

Fly balls hit with aluminum bats have been measured to fly 30-40 feet farther, on average, than balls hit with a wooden bat.

This site has rather too much information about the mechanics of baseball bats. It seems that in controlled tests aluminium bats give ball velocities of upto 8mph faster than that of wood. Titanium gave 10mph over aluminium. As for golf clubs, can’t find any studies on the subject, but I would assume the same was true. I have seen a few ceramic faced clubs recently. These would tend to give even higher ball velocities than titanium, I would think mainly due to having a higher coefficient of restitution (as one can see by dropping a golf ball on concrete).