While you’re watching the chemistry between the players on the field this World Cup, you should know about the real chemistry that makes this all possible.
The Adidas Telstar 18, the official ball of the 2018 World Cup, is the most advanced World Cup ball to date. Covestro, one of the world’s largest polymer suppliers, has developed and supplied the materials for Adidas soccer balls for more than 30 years. The Telstar 18 is made of six Polyurethane panels, a nylon lining, and a butyl rubber bladder that contains the air.
The polyurethane exterior protects the ball and prevents it from absorbing too much water. Beneath the polyurethane exterior are several layers of nylon lining, which improve the bounce and strength of the ball.
The bladder is the part of the ball that holds the air, so butyl rubber is often the material of choice because it’s airtight and doesn’t allow any air to escape.
This combination of materials creates a ball with optimal handling, more predictable flight characteristics, and excellent water resistance.
The majority of the jerseys are a blend of polyester and elastane. Polyester is durable, lightweight, and absorbs very little water, allowing the players to stay cooler during play. Elastane, also known as spandex or lycra, provides extra strength and elasticity, preventing the jerseys from ripping.
Have you wondered about the vanishing spray the referees spray on the field before free kicks? This spray is a combination of butane and surfactants. When released from the can, these two ingredients combine to form a foam which disappears as the butane evaporates.