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The Telstar 18 from adidas is the 2018 FIFA World Cup Official Game Ball. (Source: adidas)

14. June 2018

PU materials from Covestro used in the 2018 World Cup Match Ball

All eyes will be again on the ball when 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia kicks off on Thursday, 14 June 2018. The Telstar 18 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 was first introduced.

“Telstar 18 employs the latest developments in polyurethane coated textiles, which lends it optimal handling, great flight characteristics and superb water resistance” said Thomas Michelis, Head of Covestro Textile Coatings EMLA, the company that has developed and supplied 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”, said Michaelis. “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 1 mm 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.


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