Faculty Advisor

Richman, Mark W.


The purpose of this project is to predict the stresses induced in a wooden baseball bat at the time of impact, and to determine where the stresses are a maximum and when the bat will break. We created an improved model and combined the results with a complete stress analysis to determine the impact stresses developed during the bat-ball collision. We find that for points of contact on the barrel of the bat, the maximum stresses occur at the contact point but are not large enough to break the bat. Interestingly, as the contact point moves inside the "sweet spot," the maximum stresses occur closer to the handle rather than at the contact point itself. The stresses near the handle become large enough to break the bat at locations that are consistent with observations made informally.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2011


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering