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    1. Top | #1
      nivekkan is offline
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      Cool Comparison between ALC and ZLF

      What is ZLF?
      "ZLF is pure Zylon, and is about $50 a square yard in raw fabric, with good hardener costing about $20. It is just named ballistic zylon, which means that only zylon is in it. It is sold in a weave pattern." (iliketurtles, 10-12-2011)

      What is ZLC?
      "ZLC is a carbon-zylon weave, and is heavier and harder (so faster for table tennis), and costs $144 a linear yard to buy a sheet that has already been hardened, though if you get over 10 sheets, it is $130 a linear yard. This is zylon and carbon weaved tightly together in a 2x2 twill pattern."(iliketurtles, 10-12-2011)

      so obviously ZLC>ZLF for hardness due to the carbon


      What about ALC?
      I tried to search about "arylate carbon" but I seems to be all about butterfly yet no scientific date on this material. Probably because it is not a pure material but 2 materials that are weaved together for table tennis use. As a result, there is no available data out there that is on something that is so specific.
      I suppose my research on Zylon is meaningless as there is not possible to compare to ALC.
      Click image for larger version. 

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      (TOYOBO CO., LTD. , 2005)

      So I turned to the famous–or infamous for some of its inaccurate numbers–Revspin for user ratings

      Here are 7 ALC blades from butterfly (Excluding Harimoto & Matsudaira because they have less than 10 reviews) (I know 10 is very arbitrary and I cannot justify this number)
      speed control stiffness hardness price in USD(official web)
      FREITAS 9.0 9.5 5.7 6.2 215.99
      garaydia 8.8 8.7 5.4 6.0 172.99
      Innerforce Layer 9.1 9.4 4.3 5.0 172.99
      Innerforce Layer ALC.S 8.5 9.3 4.1 3.9 179.99
      Marcos Freitas 9.0 9.2 5.0 5.2 215.99
      timo boll 8.9 8.6 5.7 6.1 159.99
      Zhang Jike 9.2 9.0 5.7 5.4 181.97
      mean(1 d.p.)& (2 d.p.) 8.9 9.1 5.1 5.4 184.70

      Here are 4 ZLF blades from butterfly (Excluding Innershield, Liu Shiwen, Innershield Layer) (below 10 ratings)

      It seems like there are more ALC reviews than ZLF reviews.
      speed control stiffness hardness price in USD
      Fukuhara Ai Pro 8.8 9.4 4.3 4.6 219.90
      not sold in butterfly official so I went to thornton
      Innerforce Layer 8.2 9.6 3.5 4.5 201.99
      Innerforce 8.9 9.0 3.8 4.8 170 but not sold anymore...I think
      Timo Boll 8.8 9.3 5.1 5.5 207.73 thornton
      mean (1 d.p.) 8.7 9.3 4.1 4.9 199.91

      Conclusion:
      Speed: ALC>ZLF by 0.2 so not a lot
      control: ZLF>ALC by 0.2 so again not a lot
      stiffness: ALC>ZLF by 1.0 so quite substantial
      hardness: ALC>ZLF by 0.5 so difference is there
      price: ZLF>ALC by 15.21 USD

      Pros for ZLF:
      It seems like ZLF is softer so longer dwell time and possibly more feeling as there is no carbon layer in it but it is slightly slower.
      What does it mean? I'm not a advanced player but I guess it is better for looping that packs spin, picking up low or backspin balls and more forgiving. (the usual things that reviewers say)

      Pros for ALC:
      On the other hand ALC is a bit faster which is good for obvious reasons given that you can handle it. It is stiffer and harder so better for smashing and close to the table style due to the lower arc produced. It is cheaper; Although not significantly, you need to take it into a count. There are alot more ALC available out there than ZLF.

      But keep in mind that these are all in relative terms.

      Reference:
      iliketurtles, 10-12-2011, https://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=18135
      TOYOBO CO., LTD., 2005, https://www.toyobo-global.com/seihin.../technical.pdf
      https://revspin.net/blade/
      https://shop.butterflyonline.com/
      https://thorntonstabletennis.co.uk/

      Tell me your experience with the two materials. I would love to know your opinions.
      Last edited by nivekkan; 09-07-2019 at 08:00 PM.

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    3. Top | #2
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      There used to be a few blades that had Arylate without any carbon. Those were a little slower than the ZLF blades and a little softer. You could really get an amazing amount of spin with those. I loved how they felt.

      The one I remember and really liked was the Timo Boll Spark. I did not like the handle but the feel on ball contact was amazing.

      It was sort of the high end of Off- or the low end of Off. But man you could get massive spin with that blade and I loved how the ball sinking in felt on contact: hard outer ply with that soft Arylate under it. It really bit into the ball.
      Spin Everything.

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    5. Top | #3
      Konrad Bak is offline
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      Liu shiwen has a lot of reviews on revspin

    6. Top | #4
      nivekkan is offline
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      Wow ALF?! XD

      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      There used to be a few blades that had Arylate without any carbon. Those were a little slower than the ZLF blades and a little softer. You could really get an amazing amount of spin with those. I loved how they felt.

      The one I remember and really liked was the Timo Boll Spark. I did not like the handle but the feel on ball contact was amazing.

      It was sort of the high end of Off- or the low end of Off. But man you could get massive spin with that blade and I loved how the ball sinking in felt on contact: hard outer ply with that soft Arylate under it. It really bit into the ball.
      How do they compare to an all-wood blade?
      Are ALF closer to ZLF than they are closer to all-wood?

      If ALF is a low off to a high off-
      What is ZLF's offensiveness?
      Last edited by nivekkan; 09-08-2019 at 03:59 AM.

    7. Top | #5
      nivekkan is offline
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      Look carefully again :)

      Quote Originally Posted by Konrad Bak View Post
      Liu shiwen has a lot of reviews on revspin
      Liushiwen has a lot but liushiwen ZLF has only 3 ratings

    8. Top | #6
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by nivekkan View Post
      How do they compare to an all-wood blade?
      Are ALF closer to ZLF than they are closer to all-wood?

      If ALF is a low off to a high off-
      What is ZLF's offensiveness?
      Look, if they wanted to make an Arylate blade that was Off or Off+ they can. The Arylate alone does not make the blade the speed it is. It seems you are confusing a bunch of things.

      An Arylate (no carbon) blade feels like an Arylate blade. Not a ZLF or an all wood blade.

      What you have to understand is the materials.

      Zylon is a material that they used to use for bullet proof vests until they realized that after a few years the material underwent a change and was no longer bullet proof. So, it resembles Kevlar but it is lighter. There are also blades that they used to make with Kevlar in them.

      Arylate is also a similar material but not something that was ever used in bullet proof vests. They are all semi-soft materials that are similar to plastics. They are also related to materials like polyester. They are all related to the Aramid family of fibers (polyaramids; aromatic polyamides). Arylate is a little softer than Zylon.

      What causes a blade to be the speed it is has to do with all the plies. Not just the composite material. You can make very slow ALC or ZLC blades. There are plenty of Off- and All+ blades that have carbon.

      But the soft nature of the material and the rebound of the material allows you to add both speed and spin to a blade whether you use the Arylate or Zylon alone or in a weave with Carbon to make it harder.

      So, you are only looking at one element and thinking you will find the answers to the whole picture. It is kind of like holding the trunk of an elephant and deciding an elephant is like a snake because you have not paid attention to anything else about the elephant.

      Is the composite fiber next to the top ply or closer to the core? Is the top ply hard or soft? Thick or thin?

      Photino is a blade with a Hinoki top ply and ZLF under it. No carbon. It is faster than most carbon blades. It is faster than most ZLF blades and it is faster than quite a few ZLC blades.

      How all of the plies of a blade matter in how fast the blade is, including and maybe especially, the core.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 09-08-2019 at 05:53 AM.

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    10. Top | #7
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      If you are wanting to better understand Arylate, here are a few rabbit holes to go down:

      Use search terms:

      - Aramid
      - Aromatic Polyamide
      - Polyarylate
      - Vectran

      Here are a few links:

      https://polymerdatabase.com/Fibers/Arylate.html

      https://polymerdatabase.com/home.html

      https://polymerdatabase.com/polymer%...olyesters.html

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    12. Top | #8
      nivekkan is offline
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      It is very interesting to learn about the addition information on ALC which may be relevant to table tennis. What you said is also true, though what you thought I was thinking was not ture. I was not saying that one material is going to decided the nature of a blade as a whole.

      As you said, in theory, they could make a blade that has any single particular material, for example, ALC, ZLC, ALF and ZLF, to be ranging from OFF+ to DEF (ALF, abbreviation of 'Arylate fiber' for convenience here). But they don't do that. That's the thing. There is a preferred range, which a particular martial sits on, on the offensiveness scale. For example, they could make a OFF++ all wood blade but it is not physically piratical to use as it would be too thick and heavy. Consequently, it won't be commercially viable. They could also make a DEF blade out of the material that they used for the Zhang jike Super ZLC, yet again, they won't bacause it would sky rocket the cost of production with no advantage in return.

      Likewise, I'm just trying to figure out the offensive tendency of blades that has a certain material. In this case, the materials that I'm trying to know more about are ALC and ZLF.

      Thank you again for giving more info.
      Last edited by nivekkan; 09-08-2019 at 10:36 AM.

    13. Top | #9
      Konrad Bak is offline
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      Liu shiwen and Liu shiwen zlf is the same blade
      They change graphic in 2017

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    15. Top | #10
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by nivekkan View Post
      It is very interesting to learn about the addition information on ALC which may be relevant to table tennis. What you said is also true, though what you thought I was thinking was not ture. I was not saying that one material is going to decided the nature of a blade as a whole.

      As you said, in theory, they could make a blade that has any single particular material, for example, ALC, ZLC, ALF and ZLF, to be ranging from OFF+ to DEF (ALF, abbreviation of 'Arylate fiber' for convenience here). But they don't do that. That's the thing. There is a preferred range, which a particular martial sits on, on the offensiveness scale. For example, they could make a OFF++ all wood blade but it is not physically piratical to use as it would be too thick and heavy. Consequently, it won't be commercially viable. They could also make a DEF blade out of the material that they used for the Zhang jike Super ZLC, yet again, they won't bacause it would sky rocket the cost of production with no advantage in return.

      Likewise, I'm just trying to figure out the offensive tendency of blades that has a certain material. In this case, the materials that I'm trying to know more about are ALC and ZLF.

      Thank you again for giving more info.
      The Matsushita blade was a defensive blade with ALC. It felt really nice. BTW: it is a common misconception that defensive blades are slower. That is not accurate. They have a bigger head size so they would be head heavy for offense. But they have more flex and feeling and they are not super fast. But often they are faster than All or All+ blades.

      So, in general, ZLC is a little harder and faster than ALC. ALC is a little faster and harder than ZLF. ZLF is a little harder and faster than AL (they usually seem to abbreviate Arylate without carbon as AL). So, if you used the same wood construction and added each composite layer the speed and harness would go in this order from fastest and hardest to softest and slowest: ZLC, ALC, ZLF, AL.

      BTW: SZLC should not really be any faster than ZLC. SZLC means there is more Zylon in the weave. That should make it softer, not faster.

      The SZLC blade I tried and compared to regular ZLC was slower than the regular. That was when SZLC first came out and it was ZJK SZLC and I compared it to ZJK ZLC. The SZLC has more Zylon so it should simply be softer and make it so you can get more spin. But what I noticed was, the SZLC the composite layer caused the blade to not be linear. It was fine from close to the table. But if you played from distance the composite layer had more impact on ball trajectory and its effect was inconsistent and not linear.

      I believe this is why so few pros seem to use the SZLC versions. With the extra Zylon, the blade performance is not stable with higher impact. And higher level pros can have big impact from any distance.

      The last AL blade I saw from Butterfly was the Innforce AL. It has been discontinued.

      Butterfly has an incentive to make blades in the Off and Off+ speed category. Top pros most usually seem to use blades in the Off speed category. Lower level amateurs often seem to like using blades in the Off+ speed category to compensate for power they have yet to learn how to generate from good mechanics. The interesting thing is, the extra speed makes it harder for them to learn those good mechanics. A slower blade would force them to learn how to use the timing of legs, hips, torso, arm and wrist to get the power. But the faster blade actually forces the player to cut down their stroke to land the ball on the table.

      Butterfly understands the fact that they make so much of their money from people who don't know what will be best for their development. So that is why they make so many blades that are in the higher speed classes. If it is expensive and slow, it probably won't sell. But if it is crazy expensive and really fast, it will sell.

    16. Top | #11
      Baal is offline
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      Hello dudes and dudettes? What's been up during my fairly long absence? Truth be told I've been road cycling more than playing TT these days. But I like this topic. So...

      I find ZLC and ALC to be sufficiently alike that I've never been able justify the extra cost of ZLC. Not identical obviously but both are designed for pretty much the same kind of player. ZLC is a little faster, sZLC even more so, and maybe gives slightly crisper feel. In a couple weeks you can easily adjust from one to the other. Both absorb high frequency vibrations but AKC just a bit more.

      Only way to know is try them. That's what club mates are for.

      Quick edit. OP is asking about ZLF. ZLF feels quite a bit slower and very different fro my Vjscarias. First one of those I tried was in 2008, a Photino. Much slower than ALC, but also kind of unpredictable. To me it was weird. I quickly sold it. AL blades, e.g. Moonbeam, never really caught on either. Same issue. Without carbon in the weave those materials seem to do odd things
      Last edited by Baal; 09-08-2019 at 05:43 PM.

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    18. Top | #12
      LordPippington is online now
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      If you like the ZLF style (slower with good spin capabilities), then you should look into the basalt blades. They'll be cheaper, and in my estimation, better for spinning!

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    20. Top | #13
      vik2000 is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl View Post
      The Matsushita blade was a defensive blade with ALC. It felt really nice. BTW: it is a common misconception that defensive blades are slower. That is not accurate. They have a bigger head size so they would be head heavy for offense. But they have more flex and feeling and they are not super fast. But often they are faster than All or All+ blades.

      So, in general, ZLC is a little harder and faster than ALC. ALC is a little faster and harder than ZLF. ZLF is a little harder and faster than AL (they usually seem to abbreviate Arylate without carbon as AL). So, if you used the same wood construction and added each composite layer the speed and harness would go in this order from fastest and hardest to softest and slowest: ZLC, ALC, ZLF, AL.

      BTW: SZLC should not really be any faster than ZLC. SZLC means there is more Zylon in the weave. That should make it softer, not faster.

      The SZLC blade I tried and compared to regular ZLC was slower than the regular. That was when SZLC first came out and it was ZJK SZLC and I compared it to ZJK ZLC. The SZLC has more Zylon so it should simply be softer and make it so you can get more spin. But what I noticed was, the SZLC the composite layer caused the blade to not be linear. It was fine from close to the table. But if you played from distance the composite layer had more impact on ball trajectory and its effect was inconsistent and not linear.

      I believe this is why so few pros seem to use the SZLC versions. With the extra Zylon, the blade performance is not stable with higher impact. And higher level pros can have big impact from any distance.

      The last AL blade I saw from Butterfly was the Innforce AL. It has been discontinued.

      Butterfly has an incentive to make blades in the Off and Off+ speed category. Top pros most usually seem to use blades in the Off speed category. Lower level amateurs often seem to like using blades in the Off+ speed category to compensate for power they have yet to learn how to generate from good mechanics. The interesting thing is, the extra speed makes it harder for them to learn those good mechanics. A slower blade would force them to learn how to use the timing of legs, hips, torso, arm and wrist to get the power. But the faster blade actually forces the player to cut down their stroke to land the ball on the table.

      Butterfly understands the fact that they make so much of their money from people who don't know what will be best for their development. So that is why they make so many blades that are in the higher speed classes. If it is expensive and slow, it probably won't sell. But if it is crazy expensive and really fast, it will sell.
      Interesting to read szlc being softer than zlc. How true is this?

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    22. Top | #14
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      It actually makes sense.

      According to Butterfly, the weave of SZLC is 1.8 times denser than that of regular ZLC. Due to the ITTF regulation, that likely means each fiber is thinner. A strand made up of thinner fibers would be more flexible as it allows more relative movement between the fibers. Same story as the solid vs stranded copper wire.

      2.4.2 At least 85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood; an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.
      ZJK SZLC - 5.6mm
      ZJK ZLC - 5.5mm

      MJ SZLC - 5.8mm
      MJ ZLC - 5.7mm

      A review on the 2 blades above from Taiwan mentions this as well.

      https://www.facebook.com/notes/%E6%A...33717766733411
      相信大家都知道筷子三兄弟的故事(不是五姑娘的故事!XD),同樣的道理放在Super ZLC上,一束50條的纖維在承受同樣的擊球力道時,會產生比一束100條的纖維更大的形變,所以Super ZLC整體的手感會比原本的ZLC更加柔和,一體感更好~此外,雖然Super ZLC整體咬球較深,但是反彈力道也因較細的纖維束影響,反而降低了放大效應的不穩定性,讓使用者有更多時間去發力摩擦。由高科技混編的Super ZLC有著比原本ZLC更好的咬球手感,卻有著接近ALC忠實反饋的控制性與旋轉,擊球甜區也因此更大更穩定,所以這一層Super ZLC的價值,就是在此體現出來。

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    24. Top | #15
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      Miz Szlc is softer than miz zlc but professional players need less weight.
      And Its faster so your setup will be about
      200 grams

    25. Top | #16
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      Many pro players use fairly heavy blades, around 90g or more.

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    27. Top | #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Baal View Post
      Hello dudes and dudettes? What's been up during my fairly long absence? Truth be told I've been road cycling more than playing TT these days. But I like this topic. So...

      I find ZLC and ALC to be sufficiently alike that I've never been able justify the extra cost of ZLC. Not identical obviously but both are designed for pretty much the same kind of player. ZLC is a little faster, sZLC even more so, and maybe gives slightly crisper feel. In a couple weeks you can easily adjust from one to the other. Both absorb high frequency vibrations but AKC just a bit more.

      Only way to know is try them. That's what club mates are for.

      Quick edit. OP is asking about ZLF. ZLF feels quite a bit slower and very different fro my Vjscarias. First one of those I tried was in 2008, a Photino. Much slower than ALC, but also kind of unpredictable. To me it was weird. I quickly sold it. AL blades, e.g. Moonbeam, never really caught on either. Same issue. Without carbon in the weave those materials seem to do odd things
      Thanks. That is helpful. so it is more like SZLC> ZLC> ALC>> ZLF>> AL

      Sent from my H8296 using Tapatalk
      Last edited by nivekkan; 09-10-2019 at 05:17 AM.

    28. Top | #18
      nivekkan is offline
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      Established TTD Member Country: Hong Kong
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      Equipment:
      Blade Stiga Azalea All Around
      Forehand Rubber Nittaku Hurricane Pro III Turbo Orange
      Backhand Rubber Stiga Genesis II M

      Join Date
      Sep 2019
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      Quote Originally Posted by zeio View Post
      It actually makes sense.

      According to Butterfly, the weave of SZLC is 1.8 times denser than that of regular ZLC. Due to the ITTF regulation, that likely means each fiber is thinner. A strand made up of thinner fibers would be more flexible as it allows more relative movement between the fibers. Same story as the solid vs stranded copper wire.



      ZJK SZLC - 5.6mm
      ZJK ZLC - 5.5mm

      MJ SZLC - 5.8mm
      MJ ZLC - 5.7mm

      A review on the 2 blades above from Taiwan mentions this as well.

      https://www.facebook.com/notes/%E6%A...33717766733411
      good to know thx

      Sent from my H8296 using Tapatalk

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