Do you know what ping pong balls are made of? And how? If not, you’re not alone. Ping pong balls are made of various materials at different times.
From 1800 to 2022, four different material types were used to make ping pong balls. Do you want to learn more about these materials and how they affect ping pong balls?
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at these four types of materials, provide detailed information about them, and also know how ping pong balls are made.
What Are Ping Pong Balls Made Of?
Ping pong balls are made of four different materials from 1890 to 2022. The first material of ping pong balls is cork. Cork material is produced by the bark of the Cork Oak tree. It is an impermeable and buoyant material. Celluloid is the second material used in ping pong ball manufacturing.
And celluloid has become the second material of ping pong balls made of nitrocellulose and camphor. The third material used to make ping pong balls is ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), a thermoplastic polymer. Known as ABS plastic most commonly on the market.
The fourth material used in making ping pong balls is Sponge foam composite. Sponge foam is a new material that has just hit the market. Ping pong player, let’s see together the four materials of ping pong balls in detail. And then you can pick the best one according to your needs.
1. Cork Material from 1890 to 1901
Cork was the first material used to make the first ping pong ball. Cork material is produced by the bark of the Cork Oak tree. Used the cork to make ping pong balls until 1901.
The cork ball is not popular because the ping pong player was facing many issues with the cork ball during the match. And manufacturing has moved on to other materials.
However, cork ping pong balls have several disadvantages. One disadvantage is that cork balls are not as responsive as other ping pong balls like celluloid and ABS plastic ping pong balls and can be harder to control. In addition, the cork ball is gone forever.
2. Celluloid Material from 1901 to 2014
Celluloid was the second material used in making ping pong balls until 2014. celluloid is a type of plastic made from nitrocellulose and camphor. The celluloid table tennis ball is popular because it is a very soft material, and it is also very durable.
Another advantage of using celluloid material in the making of ping pong balls is that they are very light. As a result, celluloid table tennis balls fly further and bounce higher than other ping pong balls.
However, one disadvantage of using celluloid material in the making of ping pong balls is that they can become brittle over time. The size of the Celluloid ping pong ball is 38 mm. Also, celluloid balls are still used in local tournaments. Beginner-level players now still are using the celluloid ball. Celluloid balls, like cork balls, did not happen to disappear from the earth forever.
3. ABS Plastic Material from 2014 to Present
ABS Plastic is the third and most recent material used in making ping pong balls until the present. ABS is a type of plastic made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.
One advantage of using ABS plastic in making ping pong balls is that they are very durable. Some experts say that ABS plastic is even more durable than celluloid.
The second advantage of using ABS plastic in making ping pong balls is that they are very responsive. It means that you will be able to control your shots better with an ABS ball than with any other type of ball.
The size of the ABS plastic Ball is +40mm. The ABS ball is viral in Europe, especially among professional players. It is also used in professional tournaments, table tennis practice, and training centers worldwide. As well as ABS plastic is the official material of the official table tennis ball.
4. Sponge Foam New Material
The fourth material used in making Ping Pong Balls is Sponge Foam. Sponge foam is the latest material used in making ping pong balls. Sponge foam is made from polyurethane, and they are very bouncy. The most significant advantage of using sponge foam is that they are very comfortable to play with.
The second advantage of using sponge foam in making ping pong balls is that they become very softballs. As a result, you will not be interrupted by the sound of your balls bouncing off the table. And these types of ping pong balls are specially designed for quiet places like offices or homes and for those people who don’t like noise. And this kind of ping pong ball does not produce noise Like celluloid and ABS plastic balls.
The dimensions of the sponge foam ball are 2.76 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches. The third advantage of using Sponge Foam in making Ping Pong Balls is that they are less expensive than other Ping Pong Balls. Plus, sponge foam balls also have a low weight, making them portable.
How are ping pong balls made?
There are seven steps involved in making a table tennis ball. 1) Weighing, 2) shaping, 3) edge trimming, 4) gluing, 5)quality control, 6) logo printing, and 7) packaging are the main stages. So let’s get started.
Step:1 Weighing the two plastic sheets
We will make table tennis balls from plastic sheets. Two plastic sheets are necessary to make one table tennis ball because one sheet makes only half the ball. Next, you should weigh the plastic sheets to ensure an equal outcome for the ball.
After the weight is applied, the plastic sheets are then shaped into table tennis balls. Plastic sheets are created into the shape of a table tennis ball by placing them into a mold where the copper heads press them together into a form that appears to be like the one half of the table tennis ball. After the sheets are shaped, drip the hot water onto them to prevent cracks.
Step:3 Edge Trimming
After shaping, the next step is edge trimming. The trimming ensures that all ping pong balls have an even shape and size. An automatic machine trims the edge of each sheet of plastic.
Step:4 Gluing the Plastic Sheets Together
Once the edges are trimmed, the two plastic sheets are glued together to create one table tennis ball. This process happens with the help of machines and humans. The edges are glued together to form one even ping pong ball.
Once the balls are glued, the balls fall into large containers, and then the balls are spread around a large hall where they are kept for 15 days at 113-122°F (45-50°C).
Step:5 Quality Control
After the container has 15 days of work, table tennis balls have to go through quality control. They need to make sure the balls are of top quality before they are released to the market. The balls are initially placed on the automatic line of quality, and then once they pass, they proceed to a hand-inspection line. To do quality control by hand, five steps are:
STEP 1. With the help of bright light, we examine the seam and surface of the ball. 2. One by one, we roll the ball down to a table with line markings on it. The ball needs to pass a narrow space to be accepted as
STEP 2. Balls are rolled down to a table marked with lines to determine whether the balls have veered. Acceptance of the ball requires it to pass through a narrow space. This is done to ensure that all sides of the table tennis ball are even.
STEP 3. Measure the hardness of the table tennis balls using a machine. Once the hardness of the balls is determined, they are divided into different hardness categories.
STEP 4. The second last step is the ball weighed. You can measure this on a scale, and it needs to weigh between 2.68g and 2.76g for it to pass.
STEP 5. The final step is the ball’s roundness. The roundness of a ball is verified by hand using a machine to ensure that the ball is between 40.00mm and 40.40mm for it to pass.
Step:6 Logo printing
The balls are then given a logo to print on them before they’re released to the market. This is done using a heat press machine by printing the logo onto another piece of board and then placing it on top of each ball, an undercoat.
After the transparent logo, the balls are placed into boxes and shipped out to distributors. The boxes should be labeled with the company’s name, contact information (e-mail, website), and product description.
Furthermore, you know that the DHS company of table tennis balls located in China is famous worldwide, which makes and packs 600000 table tennis balls in only one day. And in one year, the DHS company makes and loads 200 million table tennis balls.
How did the ping pong balls size become +40mm?
The size of the ping pong ball changes over time. In 1900, the ball was 38mm in diameter. In 2000, after it had been around for a few years, the ping pong ball size changed from 38mm to 40mm. Then in 2014, a new measure +40 was introduced and has since replaced the old one. Similarly, the ping pong ball size becomes +40.
How long do ping pong balls last
Star ratings indicate how long a table tennis ball will last. There are three stars in star ratings: 1, 2, and 3 stars. One star lasts the shortest amount of time, two last a little longer, and three last the longest. What is the reason that the three stars ball lasts the longest than the 1 and 2 stars balls?
The 3 star ping pong ball lasts the longest than the 1 and 2 stars balls because they are made from quality material. The 3 stars ball is made of polystyrene, a solid and durable material. Polystyrene also has a better tolerance for temperature changes. However, the 1 and 2 stars balls are made of a softer material. Because of this, the 1 and 2 stars balls are more susceptible to damage and will wear out faster.
The 3 star balls are made of polystyrene, which is a durable material. The material used to make the ball is denser than those used to make 1 and 2 stars table tennis balls. It means that 3 stars balls last the longest because they have more density.
The 3 stars ball is made of Polystyrene and will last the longest because it has a higher melting point. It also absorbs less moisture than a 1 star and 2 stars ball. The 1 star and 2 stars balls are made of soft material, meaning they will break sooner.
The 3-star ball has more material on it than 1 and 2-star balls. Due to this, it is harder to break through the surface of the 3-star ball, so it will remain intact longer.
Why are ping pong balls round?
There are a few reasons why ping pong balls are round. First, it allows the ball to bounce in a more consistent manner. If the ball were not round, it would not bounce as evenly, and the game would be less fair. Second, a round ball is more aerodynamic than a non-round ball. This means that it will fly through the air more smoothly, making the game more exciting to watch. Third, a round ball is less likely to roll off of the table, making it more likely that the game will be played to its full potential. Finally, a round ball is simply more aesthetically pleasing than a non-round ball.
Which material do you think makes the best ping pong ball?
However, many people believe that the 3-star ball is the best option as it is made of durable polystyrene and has a higher melting point. Additionally, the 3-star ball is less likely to absorb moisture, meaning that it will not become warped or misshapen over time. Ultimately, it is up to the individual player to decide which type of ping pong ball is best for them.
Are ping pong balls flammable?
Yes, the table tennis balls were flammable, but from 1990 to 2013. Because at that time, the ball of ping pong was celluloid. A celluloid ball is made from nitrocellulose, and nitrocellulose is a highly flammable material that is produced by combining nitrating cotton fiber with nitric acid. When the International Table Tennis Federation changed the ball from celluloid to ABS plastic in 2014, the balls became non-flammable.
By reading this blog, you now know what ping pong balls are made of, how they are made, how long they last, and whether or not they are flammable. Knowing this will help you make better decisions regarding purchasing them and using them in your favorite game! I hope you found this article helpful!
Why is a table tennis ball filled with camphor inside?
The camphor inside a table tennis ball makes the ball much more durable and rugged. This makes it perfect for gameplay because it won’t break easily and will provide reasonable control over the ball.