Have you ever asked yourself that the ball you are playing with, where did they come from, how they are made of?
The ping pong ball we are playing with, creating spin, bouncing! Behind all the characteristics we see has an evolutionary journey to come in the change it is today.
How the Ping Pong Balls are Made
The process of making ping pong ball follows a production chain, where professionals and technology get combined and make a result. At first, two exact measured and shaped plastic seeds are rounded by a round copperhead and dripped into hot water for cleaning cracks. Then the side edges of the rounded seeds are trimmed. After trimming the sheets are glued together and make a ball shape.
The Evolution of the Ping Pong ball
Ping pong ball has not been played with the same kind of ball since it was invented. If you read the history of ping pong, you will see it has been periodically changing year after year.
At the beginning of the ping pong, people used to play with champagne cork as a ball. Then they played with a rubber ball.
At the beginning of 1900 about a century later, celluloid ball has brought a massive change in ping pong.
After the celluloid comes, ITTF made rules over the ping pong ball like size, weight, and color.
Then in the 1980s suddenly plastic ball has come and tried to replace celluloid, though it didn’t make any changes in its first appearance.
After 2-3 decades, in the recent 2014-15 plastic has made a new appearance again and replace the celluloid ball completely.
Until now, the plastic ball is the official ball of ping pong. who knows, perhaps something better would replace the plastic ball.
How Ping Pong Balls are Made and The Secrets
A ball has to go through some technical process to be eligible to play. Today I will explain every process that makes a perfect ball.
Shaping of Ball Halves: The first step of making two halves round shape. The plastic sheets are put on a shaper and get pressed by a copperhead then they are dripped by hot water to avoid cracks.
Edge Trimming: When the halves are shaped round, they are left with a big edge in them. And they are trimmed by a blade in automatic step.
Gluing: After trimming the edge of the halves. They are put into the gluing machine in pairs. The two halves are glued and shaped up the ball with a little edge. But how the little edge gets trimmed and make a seamless perfect ball is a secrete of the factory.
Storage: After the ball get a perfectly round shape the needs to be stored for 15 days in a room that set to 450-500 temperature.
Quality Check: When the balls leave the storage room. They need to undergo some quality check process to get the final touch and a perfect ball to play in the tournament.
There are four steps to check every ball individually by hand to get picked to make the mark. Let’s see the steps.
Ball Surface Check: Every ball is checked if there is any spot on the surface of the ball under the light of a lamp and seam in the joint between two plastic halves.
Veer: The veer ensures the perfect roundness of a ball. Every ball is ruled on a table of a certain angle. If any ball can’t reach the angle it will be disqualified.
Hardness Check: every ball will be checked its hardness by a machine that ensures the perfect hardness.
Weight Check: The balls are measured on a scale and they must be between 2.68 to 2.76 grams
Frequently Asking Questions
Is ping pong ball toxic?
The straight answer is no. there is nothing but air inside the ping pong ball. But after a certain period of time this air gets stanched in the ball it feels toxic.
What size a ping pong ball?
According to ITTF, a perfect ball is considered by 2.7 grams and 40 millimeters.
Why ping pong ball burn?
Ping pong balls are made of celluloid. We all know celluloid is a flammable substance. That’s why ping pong ball burns. But now celluloid is no longer used in ping pong balls. So there is no more possibility of burning.
Why ping pong ball bounce?
Ping pong balls are made of plastic that can be stretched. So when you hit a ball and it touches the table, the plastic of the ball gets stretched and tries to reshape itself. The moment of reshaping makes the ball bounce.
Hope you enjoyed the journey of making ping pong ball and get the answer to how the ping pong balls are made.