You can normally hear sportscasters say that one athlete is “on fire”. Of course, these sportscasters don’t mean that literally. Such term can be heard if an athlete is playing unbelievably well. However, according to a study from the University of California-Irvine, some golf players can really set themselves on fire, literally with the golf club they are using.
The recent spate of devastating fires on golf courses in Irvin and Mission Viejo got fire investigators thinking about what could have possibly started these fire incidents. To get into the bottom of this, they have seek the help of materials scientists to find definitive answers to these questions. The scientists then looked for leads and ended up looking at golfing equipment, particularly, golf clubs to find answers. And so the answers did come.
Based on the published findings by the journal ‘Fire and Materials’, the materials scientists found out that titanium-coated golf clubs can cause an ignition, and possibly, fire if it strikes small pebbles or rocks, igniting dry foliage. In the study, researchers simulated the conditions in the golf courses where fires happened. With the use of high-speed video as well as powerful scanning electron microscope analyses, the scientists tried to find out if they hypothesis was indeed right.
After the tests, scientists found out that sparks were produced when titanium clubs graze hard surfaces. These sparks are as hot as 1,600 degrees, enough to set things on fire. On the other hand, stainless steel clubs caused no sparks. With rocks present in some of the rough areas of the course, it is highly-likely that sparks are produced, Add the tremendous amount of oxygen or nitrogen in the air, plus the heat, equals burning foliage.
Given these findings, gold club producers should start rethinking the production of such clubs. If not and if these clubs go on and start fires that could burn whole courses and houses in communities near it, they can be charged with a product liability claim. A Los Angeles product liability attorney believes that it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to notify the public of the hazards that theseclubs might bring and continue to find new elements that deliver the same benefits that titanium clubs bring minus these risks. So, the next time you’d decide to play golf, make sure that you are not using a titanium-made club or at least, keep it from brushing off against rocks and pebbles.