How It’s Made: Promotional Lacrosse Balls
Though it may not get the recognition it deserves, lacrosse is one of the toughest games in the world. It requires a great deal of athleticism, skill, and bravery, as a solid rubber ball is flung around the field at incredibly high speeds. Promotional Lacrosse Balls are, essentially, just a spherical piece of rubber, but we thought it would be a good idea to go into a little more detail about how these custom made balls are manufactured.
Creating a Mould
The first step in the manufacturing of a lacrosse ball is to develop an appropriate sized mould. Natural rubber is a malleable, unstable material, so to create a spherical promotional lacrosse ball it needs to be moulded into shape. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, or NOCSAE, specify that the ball must be between 7 ¾ inches and 8 inches in circumference. Once a mould of this size has been created, the natural rubber can be poured inside.
Vulcanised Rubber is the specific type of rubber which lacrosse balls are made of. This is because, very simply, vulcanised rubber is more durable. At the risk of being overly scientific, normal rubber contains independent polymer chains. This means it is more unstable, so products made of natural rubber are prone to falling apart. Adding sulfur, among other things, creates bridges between these chains. If you are not chemistry-minded this may not make much sense to you, but the end result is a product which is more able to withstand stress without becoming deformed. Obviously, this is pivotal in the creation of a lacrosse ball, hence the reason why vulcanised rubber is used.
Creating Vulcanised Rubber
Vulcanised Rubber is created by applying high pressure and high temperature to rubber. To create your promotional lacrosse ball, natural rubber is poured into the previously developed spherically mould. The pressure and temperature is heightened within this mould, which promotes the process of vulcanisation. The rubber will harden into the shape of the mould, and will give you a durable, and perfectly spherical, promotional lacrosse ball.