The Chemistry of Ping Pong Paddles

Introduction

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Ping Pong Paddles are required to play a game of ping pong.  A ping pong paddle (also called a bat or paddle) is used by players in the game of ping pong. The paddle is usually made from laminated wood covered with rubber on one or two sides depending on the grip of the player. In the USA, the term paddle is common, in Europe the term is bat.  I chose a ping pong paddle because ping pong is one of my favorite non-competitive sports that I play with my friends and family,  I also though the paddle I play would be really cool to do research on.  My life is affected by ping pong paddles because someday I would like to be an Olympic athlete playing ping pong.

Composition of ...

A ping pong paddle consists of wooden blade that has rubber sheets on both sides.

There are usually around 2 carbon layers in a paddle the create less margin of error.

  • Kelver

  • Titanium

  • Arylate

  • Aramid

All paddles now must consist of a rubber sheet

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

Blade Wood:

Cypress-cheap wood in cheap paddles

ayous-softwood mostly plywood

balsa-soft, very light most commonly used type of wood

walnut-ply material hard and expensive

movinge-another form of walnut wood

poplar-used very often in paddles

ash-cross between cypress and ayous


Rubber sheet protecting the blade:

elastic substance obtained from certain tropical plants-natural rubber

petroleum and natural gas-synthetic rubber

Chemistry's Role

Chemistry doesn’t play a huge role in the making of ping pong paddles, but it does play a minor role.  Speaking that the majority of ping pong paddles are made by the user.  But Chemistry’s role is in the rubber sheet, since paddle sheets are synthetic rubber.  When creating the synthetic rubber which is made of petroleum and natural gas.   Stoichiometry plays a huge role when combining the materials knowing to make the perfect batch, and how much of each you should have.

Background Research

When the final ping pong paddle is finished most companies have them made in a factory so they are mass produced and can be out on the market.  Also many people make their own paddles that they use for tournament use that meet their standards such as grip and friction.

Resources


About the Author

Baxter Denham is a junior at Senior High.  Chemistry is one of his classes he’s most interested in.  He plays football for Senior as a wide receiver.  He maintains a 3.5 GPA.  Some of his favorite activities include fishing, hunting, camping, and the great outdoors.










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