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The Growing Use of Plastics in Modern Sport

Posted on 18th June 2015

In recent years plastics have revolutionised the sports industry. We have seen world records tumble on ever faster running tracks, athletes benefiting from evermore lightweight clothing and equipment, and stadium construction improved with betters pipes, seating and roofing. It is fair to say that modern sports have come to rely on the plastics industry and in this blog we wanted to share a few examples of plastics in action.

Ball Games

Did you know that plastics are used in just about every ball game? In recent years plastics have helped football to become faster and more technical than ever before. Every year we see the development of ever more impressive footballs and the latest production technique is called thermal bonding. This high-solid polyurethane later is affixed to a seamless glued surface and results in a more predictable trajectory, excellent responsiveness and substantially reduced water uptake.

Sports Footwear

When an athlete powers out of the blocks, their choice of running shoes could be the difference between winning and losing. Modern day athletes demand running shoes that weigh just grams, but rely on them to offer the strength and suppleness that they need. Whether it is running, jumping or hiking, plastics play an important role in modern footwear design. One example of this in action is hiking boots - the lining and tongue of these boots can be specially produced from a loosely woven polyester fabric. This is designed to repel water and allow moisture to rapidly evaporate, ensuring that the hikers feet remain cool and dry even on the hottest of days.

Tennis

Long gone are the days of wooden tennis rackets. Nowadays manufacturers are turning to plastics to develop rackets which are light, strong and featuring excellent shock-absorbing systems. As a result, modern day players have far more powerful rackets than their predecessors, allowing for increased manoeuvrability when out on the court. In some instances the longitudinal strings on a modern racket are now fed through a specially developed plastic core embedded in a plastics composite. The result is a 45% reduction in shock vibration as the ball hits the racket.

On the Water

For those sports lovers who love to get out onto the water, it is often aerodynamics that gives them that cutting edge over their rivals. The mouldability of composite plastics has helped in the development of sleek and dynamic hulls that are both lower in weight and high in strength. Whether it is a power cruiser or a sailing yacht, almost every vessel now features a hull, deck, super structure and mast that have been manufactured from composites. These composites have largely replaced traditional materials and have helped to take racing to the next level with greater flexibility, improved performance and faster speed production.

At Coda Plastics we have considerable experience of developing plastic solutions across a wide range of industries. If you would like to discover how we can assist with your next project, do not hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 01692 501020 or drop us an email to sales@coda-plastics.co.uk.

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