Colloquium: Stein Posthuma (ASM)

13 december 2018 11:00 - Locatie: Vergaderzaal 1, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Kluyverweg 1, Delft.

Design of a Variable Stiffness Vaulting Pole with Axial Spring (a mechanical model based exploration)

Is improvement of pole vaulting performance still possible, or has the theoretical peak level already been achieved?

Looking ahead to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in 2016 the NOC*NSF asked the TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute to identify the possibilities of improving pole vaulting performance. Marco Reijne developed a mechanical model in which a vault can be simulated. 

During my thesis, as a follow up on the research of Reijne, several improvements have been made to the model. A method has been developed to include vaulting poles with a variable stiffness. A variable stiffness vaulting pole could influence the flight path of the vaulter. It also has an effect on the weight distribution of the pole.

Furthermore, an axial spring was added to the pole at different locations. At pole-planting box impact, a significant amount of energy is dissipated. An axial spring reduces the amount of energy loss. The feasibility of this innovation has been reviewed. 

Among other factors, the technique of the vaulter determines if a vault is successful. The control strategy of the athlete has been optimized for various vaulting poles. 

To conclude, the results of this research show that there is still room for improvement in pole vaulting performance.