Understand the different materials and techniques used in the production of soccer balls. This article will also provide you with useful insights to distinguish professional balls from ordinary balls.
Are you a crazy soccer player who is just concern about playing?
Are you curious about all the things about how they work?
Today I will bring you all the details about how different parts of a soccer ball are made! Wouldn’t it be exciting?
Soccer Ball Designs: Different Parts of a Soccer Ball.
If you are planning to buy a soccer ball or just want to extend your knowledge base regarding soccer. In both scenario getting of such information is useful for you if you are player, coach or just a soccer lover. Acquiring the knowledge about different material that are used to make a soccer ball and soccer ball designs can definitely will clear your perception.
In soccer ball making there are many different materials which making up the outer, inner and complete soccer ball designs. However, the following are some main parts which I will discuss as follow: –
Structural Design of a Soccer Ball and Parts: –
- Inner lining
Outer Most Cover: polyurethane or PVS
The outermost covering of the soccer ball is the most important part of soccer, protects the ball as it protects it from any wear and tear, and gives the ball its magnificent appearance.
If we dig deep into a soccer ball, the outermost material of a soccer ball is made up of pure leather. But leather is known to have very low water resistance and it usually gets heavy due to the wet conditions.
In the 1970’s many football manufacturers starting coating the leather with polyurethane. It is a synthetic material that ultimately protects the ball from different kinds of damages, which include scuffs and other scratches.
It also makes the soccer ball playable in wet weather. Leather has very poor water resistance and it really gets heavy in wet conditions.
The outermost covering of the soccer balls made them resistant to water. When the synthetic leather was coated with polyurethane, it gave the soccer ball the necessary flight and best feel, which was possible for the soccer ball.
PVC was another thing that was used for the outermost covering of the soccer ball. It is plastic and makes it highly durable for the ball
However, PVC covers are hard in nature, so it does not make it ideal for them to play with it.
If you see an indoor soccer ball, you can see that it is made up of a material which is called felt. This is the same material that is used to coat a tennis ball. Felt usually makes the ball more durable and controllable on smooth surfaces.
Inner lining: Cotton & polyester:
The inner lining is usually located between the cotton and the polyester. These materials usually give the ball its bounciness and how much a ball is Responsiveness to the external stimuli.
Professional soccer balls are the soccer balls that are used in the world cup. They have inner linings, which are made up of multiple layers. They tend to often wear several layers of polyester and cotton. Cotton usually makes the ball soft, while the polyester makes it very durable to use.
Cheap Footballs usually have two layers of polyester that are placed in the inner lining. These balls are very durable and they are harder and very difficult to control.
Bladder: Butyl or latex
The bladder is usually part of the soccer ball, which usually holds the air.
The most common bladder material, which is used widely, is butyl. It makes it very durable and maintains most of the air. Butyl can be easily deformed and it makes it very hard to kick as it is very less responsive.
Latex bladder usually losses air easily. It needs to be filled regularly, but it is more durable than of butyl.
Many people all over the world usually use a bladder that is made up of foam. For indoor sports and futsal, soccer balls with less air are used so that bouncing can be reduced.
Stitch Kevlar or glued Polyester by thermal heating
The stitches that are used usually hold the panels of the soccer ball together.
The panels which make the soccer ball are usually stitched together with polyester, which is very durable and is a non-absorbent material.
It is stitched with Kevlar thread so that durability and water resistance can be enhanced.
Many footballs that are used these days are not stitched together. But the panels are connected with thermal heating. These soccer balls have now become a norm in international competitions such as the 2010 FIFA world cup because they are very smooth and accurate and they don’t require stitches.
Valve Butyl or Silicone:
The part of the soccer ball which passes air is a valve. It is used for inflating the soccer ball. It is very small and usually has a needle-like structure and it looks very tiny from the outside.
Soccer ball valves have many variations, and they are made of butyl, it is a rubber material that closes instantly when the air pump pin is removed.
Many soccer or footballs usually have silicon valves for better air retention.
What’s inside an open soccer ball?
If you cut inside a soccer ball, then you can see it has various parts that make the soccer ball. The soccer ball is designed so that it can hold air pressure for a longer period. If you look closely, you can see that the bladder has one or more liners and the outside of the soccer ball is made up of durable cover that can handle the outdoor pressure and intense kicking.
Soccer Ball Types
Professional soccer balls:
All around the world premium match balls which are also called official match balls—are used synthetic-coated leather which is coated with polyurethane to give it an overall better look and feel.
The best soccer ball that is used in the competition is made up of materials like microfiber, Polyurethane, Korean Ducksung, and Japanese Teijin CCordley, along with AI-2000.
Other high-quality leather that is synthetically used includes leather art Pakistan as well as English Porvair.
Cheaper footballs always use PVC, which is also a highly durable plastic that makes them harder to play and also gives them a lesser feel.
Practice and promotional balls:
These kinds of soccer balls usually use PVC (stitched or molded) rubber on their surface.
Indoor soccer balls:
The covers of such soccer balls are generally made up of colored felt material, which is the same as the tennis balls used or in their coatings.
When felt is used it makes it highly controllable.
What Are Soccer Ball Panels?
Panels are the different segments of soccer balls that greatly affect the construction or the flight of the soccer ball. The panels vary in different colors or sizes depending upon the design of the soccer ball.
Different Kind of Soccer Ball Designs:
It is one of the most common soccer ball designs that has served its period in soccer ball history. It has around 32 panels and was used at all levels, whether in a professional level or the common household use. It has 12 pentagons and 20 hexagon segments.
There is another name for the Buckminster design and it is also knowns as the truncated icosahedron, but it is much more round. When these segments are sewn together and the ball is inflated they make a perfect spherical shape.
26 & 18-panel design:
26 panels and 18 panel balls have been used in several professional soccer leagues.
A soccer ball goes through a constant evolution, one of them is using fewer panels in its making. Over the past few years, we have noticed that these few panels made it very easy to control the ball. If you have few panels, then it means you have fewer seams. This also means that the balls are more perfect spheres and they can take less water.
How Soccer Balls Panels Are Put Together
There are many ways through which soccer ball panels are usually put together.
These methods include
Glued panels, stitched panels, thermal-bonded panels etc.
The panels of a soccer ball that are glued together have a very hard look. They can be easily broken down or tear into different pieces.
You can stitch panels using either glue or machines. Most of the mid-priced soccer balls are stitched together. These hand-stitched soccer balls are very expensive. These soccer balls that are handstitched are usually stronger and tighter A. 5-ply twisted polyester cor is used to make those high-quality footballs. Some threads also have kevlar in them that makes them very strong.
Thermal Bonded Panels:
Euro 2004 UEFA Roterio soccer ball was the first-ever soccer ball to have thermally bonded soccer panels. Similarly, FIFA world cup 2010 Jabulani and the Fifa World Cup 2014 Brazuca in 2014 were also constructed from the same process.
Pro tip: Always apply a small amount of air to protect the soccer ball from any damage.