All eyes will be again on the ball when 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia kicks off on Thursday 14 June. “Telstar 18” proudly continues the series of Official World Cup Balls adidas has produced since 1970, when the original “Telstar” with its iconic 32 black and white panels changed football design forever.
“Telstar 18 employs the latest developments in polyurethane coated textiles, which lends it optimal handling, great flight characteristics and superb water resistance” says Thomas Michelis, Head of Covestro Textile Coatings EMLA, the company that has developed and supplied advanced materials for adidas soccer balls for more than 30 years.
“Its outer shell with its Impranil? layers and Dispercoll? adhesives make “Telstar 18” a high-tech sports equipment, and lightyears ahead of the stitched leather balls I used to play with as a kid”, Michaelis continues. “Modern synthetic materials ensure players get predictable ball performance under all weather conditions, something anyone experienced wet soccer balls will appreciate”.
The innermost layer of the ball skin is an adhesion coating that connects the textile substrate to the layers above. On top of this is a polyurethane foam layer, roughly one millimeter thick, made up of millions of gas-filled microspheres. This foam is highly elastic so that the ball, after being deformed from being kicked, immediately returns to its spherical shape to ensure an optimal flight path.
The outer skin comprises two compact layers of polyurethane with different thicknesses. These layers are responsible for the outstanding resistance to external influences and abrasion, and for the ball’s high elasticity.
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.
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