How is the Basketball Ball Made

Basketball is the sport which is played by almost everyone in USA. The interest is so high that people follow the game quite a lot. This article will give you the info about how the basketball is made. In case you are curious, check out this. History of Basketball.

The skin/outside cover of a basketball that we touch is made up of synthetic rubber, rubber or for professional or official competition leather. On the inside there is a bladder (the structure that resembles a balloon and holds air) and also the carcass. The bladder is made up of butyl rubber and the carcass is made up of nylon and polyester.

How the basketball is made

The actual manufacture of the balls consists of following steps.

  1. The process is begun with the forming of the bladder. Bulk sheets of black butyl rubber are fed into the press which produces a continuous sheet that is 12 in (30.5 cm) wide and 0.5 in (1.3 cm) thick.
  2. The cutter than cuts the strips into sheets with dimensions 18 in (45.7 cm) long, then the sheets will be stacked up.
  3. Then a machine that is manually controlled presses a hole into each sheet for the valve that will be used to inflate the bladder. The bladder will now be inflated and left for 24 hours as a quality control test to ensure it can hold air; the ones that fail will be recycled.
  4. The bladders that withstand the 24 hour test at this point will now be moved to the winding department on a conveyor belt. The journey is carried out suspended from a conveyor system by their air tubes. Machines loaded with cylinders of polyester or nylon will then wrap multiple strands at a time around every bladder.
  5. The bladders will now begin to take a more rounded shape as the controlled thread shapes the balls. The number of strands and the quality of thread is the difference between a very high priced ball and a much lower priced one.
  6. On 60-inch-long (152-cm-long) tables, coloured rubber is unrolled from an endless roll. The smooth rubber will not have any small bumps or blemishes which is part of the character of a finished basketball so that the panel outlines can be clearly marked on the rubber.
  7. A silk screen operator moves the screen by hand and imprints the outlines of all 6 panels on the ball. Another hand operated machine in the form of a punch press is then used to punch the rubber outlines and create 6 panels per ball. A hole is punched in one of the six panels for air.
  8. The ball will then be taken to the vulcanizer and once the ball emerges from the vulcanizer the ball will remain smooth but any channels and embossing are formed into the surface.
  9. 10 of the balls will now be bounce tested to ensure they meet requirements for air pressure which means the balls must bounce to a certain height.
  10. Balls that pass will be numbered to give them an idea of the production run and any other problems such as artwork are inspected and touched up on if needed.
  11. Each ball will now be inspected again and the production tag is removed and the ball is deflated for shipping.

So each and every ball has to go through the multiple tests before it reaches to store, and it looks awesome. You love them dont you. Checkout them here