Uploaded by quimicadascoisas on 05.10.2012

If you are a sport's fan you should know
that makes you also a chemistry fan.
Today we talk about ... sporting equipment!
In fact, sports are one of the activities that have benefited the most from
the development of new materials in chemistry labs.
You will certainly have noticed that sports equipment
from mountain bikes to surfboards,
are becoming lighter and stronger.
You will also have benefited
from the advantages of modern sportswear,
like fabrics that allow the rapid evaporation of sweat,
or comfortable trainers with soles that adapt to the ground.
And we could go on:
Cycling helmets, tennis racquets,
shin pads, boat sails, athletics tracks...
And, of course, balls!
Golf, tennis, bowling, volleyball, football and basketball balls…
All these new materials are based on synthetic polymers!
Polymers, from the Greek "poli" meaning many
and "mero" meaning parts
are long molecules formed from smaller molecules, called monomers
connected to each other to form chains
containing hundreds or thousands of monomers.
By changing the structure of the monomers
it is possible to obtain polymers with very specific properties:
As rigid as PVC tubes,
malleable as spandex fibers,
as anti-adherent as Teflon
and as light and resistant as Kevlar
and so on.
A popular example of the use of polymer chemistry in sports
is a football.
Modern footballs are made up of three essential layers:
An inner layer, right above the inner-tube,
is made of cotton and polyester films.
This layer determines how the ball bounces.
The second layer consists of polyurethane panels
or polyethylene vinyl acetate.
These panels no longer present sewn seams
for they are chemically welded to each other,
resulting in total impermeability to water.
The last layer is very important for the final quality of the ball
for it defines its resistance to flight in the air and rolling on grass.
It is also the one most subject to wear and tear
and therefore demands higher quality materials,
generally made from polyurethane solutions.
Polymers, polymers and more polymers
to go faster, reach higher and be stronger!
To learn more about the chemistry of Sporting Goods
please visit our website aquimicadascoisas.org
or find us on facebook!