What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

For those of you who have ever played pool or billiards, you may have been curious about the materials used to make the balls. Pool and other cue sports have been around since at least the 16th century, and there are many different versions. And, while the game has evolved significantly over time, it wasn’t until the 1920s that pool balls underwent significant changes of their own. Until then, the balls were made of wood or ivory, depending on the region.

The Roots of Pool and Pool Balls

For those of you who have ever played pool or billiards, you may have been curious about the materials used to construct the balls. From as early as the 16th century, people have enjoyed various forms of pool and other cue sports. In addition, while the game has evolved significantly over time, it wasn’t until the 1920s that pool balls underwent significant changes of their own. It had previously been customary to make the balls out of wood or ivory.

A New Kind of Billiard Ball

In 1869, in response to the growing popularity of pool climbing and the rising expense of ivory, pool table manufacturer Phelan and Collender decided to challenge its customers by offering a $10,000 prize to anybody who could develop a pool ball that was not made of ivory. The advertisement caught the attention of John Wesley Hyatt, an inventor from Albany, New York. The camphor was mixed with alcohol and nitrocellulose by Hyatt, and the mixture was molded into a spherical form under great pressure.

  1. Although he continued to polish the celluloid billiard balls over the next years, they remained a poor alternative for ivory since they were nowhere like as durable as ivory.
  2. Bakelite was developed in 1907 by American chemist Phelan Leo Baekeland, who created a new plastic-like material known as Bakelite.
  3. By the mid-1920s, Bakelite had supplanted rubber as the material of choice for pool balls.
  4. Sources
  • Pool table manufacturer Phelan and Collender decided to challenge its customers in 1869, when the popularity of pool gradually outweighed the high cost of ivory. The company offered a $10,000 prize to anybody who could create a pool ball that was not made of ivory. It was John Wesley Hyatt, an inventor from Albany, New York, who took notice of the advertisement. The camphor was mixed with alcohol and nitrocellulose by Hyatt, and the mixture was molded into a spherical form under high pressure. Although Hyatt did not receive the $10,000 prize for his completed product, his invention is widely regarded as one of the earliest synthetic polymers ever created. Celluloid billiard balls were refined throughout the years, but they were still a poor alternative for ivory since they were nowhere like as durable as the original ivory balls were. It got worse since nitrocellulose was a less stable chemical, and pool balls would occasionally explode when they were struck with power, according to Hyatt. Phelan Leo Baekeland, an American scientist, discovered a novel plastic-like compound called Bakelite in 1907. Unlike Hyatt’s pool balls, Bakelite pool balls were robust, easy to manufacture, and did not pose a threat of causing a game to blow up completely. It was Bakelite that was being used to manufacture pool balls by the mid-1920s. Acryl or plastic resins, which are exceedingly durable and can be machined to strict specifications, are commonly used in the production of modern pool balls. Sources

How Pool Balls are Made

Typically, pool balls are constructed of polyester or phenolic resin. Phenolic resin, the superior substance, is only utilized by one ball producer in the world: Saluc, which manufactures the Aramith brand of billiard balls. Phenolic resin is the superior material. As a result of its chip and scratch resistance properties, phenolic resin has been demonstrated to be the greatest material available for billiard ball production to this day.

Phenolic resin balls

PVC or phenolic resin is used to manufacture pool balls. In the world, only one ball producer, Saluc (who manufactures the Aramith brand of billiard balls), uses phenolic resin, which is the superior substance.

As a result of its chip and scratch resistance qualities, phenolic resin has been demonstrated to be the best material available for billiard balls.

Billiard Ball Standards

After going through a 13-step manufacturing process, billiard balls should achieve seven essential criteria: density, balance, diameter tolerance, roundness, color precision, surface polish, and brightness. The balls are produced, cast, cured, ground, and polished over a period of 23 days. Tight tolerances and standards are reached by the use of state-of-the-art equipment and the personal inspection of each ball by a craftsman.

What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

Pool balls have been constructed of a variety of different materials throughout the history of the game of billiards. At the period of its usage, each one proved to be marginally better than the one before it, albeit none of them were ever completely flawless. A few of them would shatter after extended periods of use, while others would lose their roundness, and yet others had the potential to explode while in use. What a thrilling game of pool this would be! However, with such a long and illustrious history behind the game of pool and the equipment used, the question that many players have is, “What is the composition of pool balls?” Pool balls are now constructed of either polyester or phenolic resin, depending on the manufacturer.

Phenolic resin pool balls, on the other hand, are more expensive, but they are of superior quality and last up to eight times longer.

As Aramith or Brunswick Centennial, these products are made from phenolic resin, which is a combination of the chemicals phenol and formaldehyde, and as such are extremely robust, durable, scratch and chip resistant.

This material is now the most effective choice available for billiard balls on the market.

History Of Billiards And The Balls

A billiard-type game with resemblance to croquet may be traced back to the 1340s as an outdoor game played in the open air. King Louis XI of France is said to have owned the first indoor billiards table somewhere between 1461 and 1483, according to historical records. Because there were not many high-tech new-age materials available to them at the time, the balls were built of wood to conserve resources. As you might expect, wood balls were not always perfectly balanced or balanced in weight, and they chipped and cracked frequently.

  • These balls were manufactured from the tusks of elephants, and because each adult elephant could only produce 8 balls, they were reserved for the most rich players.
  • I couldn’t say since I don’t know.
  • Ivory balls would eventually be phased out owing to the possibility of elephant extinction several millennia down the road.
  • However, it was found to be ineffective for commercial-scale manufacture and was not robust enough to withstand the frequent abuse of pool.
  • John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid on April 6, 1869, in New York City (nitrocellulose).
  • Celluloid exploded, unlike parkesine, which exploded.
  • Celluloid, also known as flash paper, pyroxylin, and gun cotton, was the world’s first synthetic plastic and the first to be produced on a large scale for commercial use.
  • Occasionally, this occurs during play as well.
  • One of Hyatt’s first memories was of a billiard hall proprietor who wrote him and stated that he didn’t worry so much about it, but that as he mentioned it, every guy in the room immediately grabbed their guns.
  • In 1907, Phelan Leo Baekeland developed a new plastic known as bakelite, which is still used today.

This chemical was simple to create and produce, was more durable than celluloid, and, most importantly, did not explode! By the mid-1920s, bakelite had supplanted rubber as the material of choice for pool balls.

How Are The Balls Made Today?

Historically, a billiard-type game with characteristics to croquet has been played outside since the 1340s. A billiards table was first mentioned in an indoor setting somewhere between 1461 and 1483, according to King Louis XI of France. Wood was used to construct the balls because there were not many high-tech new-age materials available at the time. Because wood balls were not always perfectly balanced or weighted, they chipped and cracked frequently, as one might expect from their nature. Billiard balls were first made of ivory in 1627, and the Duke of Norfolk’s inventory of 1588 included an entire collection of the material.

  1. This type of ball was manufactured from elephant tusks, and because each adult elephant could only produce 8 balls, it was reserved for the most rich players.
  2. My personal opinion is that I would not know.
  3. It would take centuries before ivory balls would be phased out owing to the fear of elephant extinction.
  4. However, it was found to be ineffective for commercial-scale manufacture and was not robust enough to withstand the repeated abuse of pool water.
  5. John Wesley Hyatt created celluloid on April 6th, 1869, in New York City (nitrocellulose).
  6. No, celluloid burst instead of parkesine.
  7. Flash paper, pyroxylin, and cannon cotton were among of the names given to celluloid, which was the world’s first synthetic plastic to be produced on a large scale.
  8. Occasionally, this occurs during play.
  9. One of Hyatt’s first memories was of a billiard hall proprietor who wrote him and stated that he didn’t care about it, but that as he mentioned it, every guy in the room immediately grabbed their guns.
  10. The bakelite plastic was created in 1907 by Phelan Leo Baekeland, who was born in Sweden.

In addition to being simple to develop and manufacture, this material was more durable than celluloid and, most importantly, it did not explode! A large proportion of pool balls were constructed with bakelite by the mid-twentieth century.

What Else Is Out There?

Indeed, there are several pool ball producers today that produce a high-quality product, and they all appear to be rather discreet about their manufacturing processes. Polyester resin is a common substance that is utilized by the majority of other manufacturers. They are less expensive than traditional phenolic resin sets, yet they have received excellent evaluations. Brands such as Iszy, Diamond, and Viper, among many others, have thousands of pleased customers and positive evaluations for their polyester balls, which they manufacture.

  • You may find them on Amazon by clicking here.
  • Polyester ball manufacturers do not have the same level of confidence in their products as Aramith has with phenolic balls.
  • Overall, polyester is not a horrible material to use; however, you may find yourself changing them more frequently.
  • Spencer Martson owns a set that is constructed entirely of epoxy resin!
  • As a result, I’d say they’re fine.

Conclusion

If you’re seeking to purchase a set of pool balls, you have a wide variety of options to pick from. Saluc’s phenolic resin balls will last you the longest and be the most accurate of any brand. Polyester and acrylic are available in a variety of really cool-looking combinations and may make excellent balls for a long time; but, they are far less expensive and will need to be replaced considerably more frequently than phenolic resin. After that, I hope you had as much fun as I did taking this trip down memory lane.

From putting a species at risk to developing plastics, the evolution of not just this game but also humanity is quite remarkable.

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How Are Pool Balls Made?

Uniquely designed billiard balls in ten different colors and designs; Is it worth it to spend the money on Aramith Pool Balls? A Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Billiard Balls The number of balls used in pool is determined on the number of players. So Very Interesting is the History of Billiards (Pool).

What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

As previously stated, contemporary pool balls are mostly composed of phenolic resin, which is manufactured by Saluc, a Belgian business that manufactures Aramith pool balls. Polyester balls, on the other hand, are readily available on the market in large quantities. You may still locate vintage balls for sale that are made of Bakelite or even ivory, which is rather rare.

Phenolic resin is the closest substitute for ivory in the production of pool balls, which is why it accounts for the majority of the market for billiard and pool balls. But more on that approach will follow in a moment. Before we go any further, let us discuss how and when ivory balls were created.

When Were Pool Balls Made of Ivory?

Billiard balls were first made of ivory in the 17th century, according to historical records. Until the nineteenth century, ivory was the only material that could be used to make billiard balls. Unfortunately, a large number of elephants were killed in order to get their tusks for the production of these balls (and other things). Elephant tusks were the only ones large enough to be used to produce pool balls, despite the fact that other species also possessed ivory. It wasn’t until the invention of the precursor to modern plastic that people began to produce decent pool balls out of materials other than ivory.

Bakelite: The First Phenolic Resin

Because to the creation of Bakelite, we are able to produce high-quality pool balls that are currently available. Bakelite was created by Belgian scientist Leo Baekeland in 1907 and initially appeared on the market in 1908. As you’ll see in the following section, Bakelite was created using the same phenol-formaldehyde chemical process that allows Saluc to manufacture billiard balls. When Leo Baekeland developed the chemical compounds, he did it using wood alcohol and coal tar as the raw materials.

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Bakelite and other phenolic resins are utilized in a wide variety of goods across a wide range of industries and applications.

Now, let’s go back to the details of pool ball play!

Are Pool Balls Solid?

Pool balls are solid throughout their whole length. It would be impracticable and difficult to make hollow pool balls due to the requirement that all pool balls be of comparable weight and balance. Let’s have a look at the manufacturing method that Saluc use to create its Aramith pool balls to offer you a better understanding of how pool balls are created.

How Phenolic Resin Pool Balls Are Made

Getting the balance and smoothness of the pool balls just perfect is often believed to be the most critical aspect of pool ball production. While this is unquestionably vital, it is also rather simple to accomplish with the assistance of contemporary technology. As opposed to this, the most crucial aspect of producing high-quality phenolic resin pool balls begins with the substance itself.

Phenolic Resin

Phenolic resin is a kind of resin that is produced by combining phenol with formaldehyde. They work together to form a condensation process that, when combined with a catalyst, can result in the production of phenolic resin. Of course, this is a gross oversimplification of the situation. It goes without saying that the chemical process is complicated. The fact that phenolic resin balls are so durable and of significantly greater quality than polyester balls is due to the fact that they are manufactured correctly.

Phenolic resin is a kind of thermosetting plastic, which is what it is called in the industry. Once it has set after being heated, it will not be able to be remelted.

Turning Resin into Pool Balls

Much of Saluc’s exact production procedures are kept under wraps, which allows the company to continue to produce pool balls of unrivaled quality while remaining competitive. The molding process takes place under extremely high pressure, causing the reins to become through-hardened and each ball to have a consistent density throughout. Because of this, the center of gravity may be located precisely in the centre of the ball, which is essential for the precision game of pool. Because of the stable molecular structure of these phenolic resin balls, they are extremely strong and resistant to scratching and chipping.

Solids and Stripes

Precision painting is frequent on polyester balls, and it is also common on other types of balls. They all start out the same and are then painted in solids or stripes to differentiate them. This is not the case with phenolic resin balls, on the other hand. Colored phenolic resin is used to create the colors of the solids and stripes, and if you cut a ball in half, you would be able to see that the resin goes all the way through the ball. To my surprise, there is no structural difference between the colorful portions of the ball and the white portions of the ball.

You can see how structurally robust these balls are in the video below, where you can see that they do not shatter along the color lines, as you might assume.

In fact, Saluc promises that its balls will withstand up to 50 times the amount of impact that other balls can withstand!

Engraving the Numbers

In contrast to certain balls, which have their numbers painted on or have a separate number core, phenolic resin balls have their numbers carved into the surface. As a result of the automated nature of this procedure, each ball seems to be an exact replica of another with the same number. It is simple to obtain new balls since you do not have to worry about running into a “odd-ball-out” issue.

Grinding and Polishing

After going through the molding and curing procedures, the balls are sanded and polished to highly precise specifications. This procedure involves both machines and humans interacting with the balls to ensure that they are of the highest possible quality and are ready for use in the game. The smoothness of the ball has a significant influence on how it behaves on the table. Small flat patches on balls can collect dirt and dust, and this might cause the tablecloth to become worn down faster than normal.

Sanding and polishing the pool balls is an important element of the pool ball manufacturing process because it allows the balls to retain their luster.

Quality Control

Every phenolic resin ball manufactured by Saluc is subjected to a quality control process that includes both automated machinery and human workers in their manufacturing facilities.

When it comes to quality, they don’t take any chances with anything. They look for the following things:

  • Density, balance, roundness, diameter tolerance, brilliance, color precision, and surface polish are all important characteristics.

Their goal is to create sets with balls that are as similar in weight as feasible while also ensuring that each set has consistent features throughout. Following their satisfaction with the quality of the balls, they arrange them into sets and package them for shipment across the world!

In Conclusion

A sophisticated multi-step method has been devised by Saluc, the manufacturer of Aramith pool balls, which requires a number of different steps. Saluc manufactures about 80% of the balls available on the market, which are constructed of phenolic resin, which is a thermosetting plastic. There are a plethora of different firms that manufacture pool balls, which are primarily made of polyester. However, when phenolic resin balls are compared to one another, there is no doubt about which is superior.

  • For the time being, though, they are keeping their particular procedures a secret.
  • Although machines and computers play an important role in the production of pool balls, the process is not completely automated.
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What are billiard balls made of?

Every time we take a shot, we dance on the table, bounce around in the cushions, and finally end up in the pockets. So goes the life of a billiard ball, whose fate is constantly in our hands. and in the hands of our cues, as they say. These perfectly round and robust spheres that never tire of rolling are the focus of today’s essay, which is important since every billiard player should be aware of the materials used to make billiard balls. The very earliest billiard balls were made of ivory.

Because of the high price, as well as the fragility and lack of uniformity of the balls produced in this manner, it was necessary to look for a more cheap material.

By combining it with alcohol, it was possible to create a plastic material that could be used to produce balls at a lower cost.

Almost half a century later, the chemist Leo Baekeland developed bakelite, a form of phenolic resin with which the vast majority of billiard balls are still made today (though it is also used for its great advantages: it is very resistant to heat, it is cheaper and it allows getting perfectly spherical, highly impact resistant and less dirty balls).

Whether it’s Pool, Snooker, or Carom, their high-quality balls, which are likewise constructed of phenolic resin, are utilized in the majority of recognized competitions.

There are those who treat them better than others, and there are individuals who treat them worse.

However, they consistently defy the directives that are transmitted to them by our bullets, whether they are discolored or not.

The following is a diagram of the anatomy of a billiard ball: Billiard balls are also known as cues balls in some circles. The aramit competition pool ball set comes highly recommended. You might also be interested in this post on how to set up pool tables in your home:

What is the Best Pool Ball Set?

Every time we take a shot, we dance on the table, bounce about in the cushions, and finally end up in the pockets.” In other words, this is the story of a billiard ball, whose fate is constantly in our hands. and in the hands of our cue. Our focus today is on these perfectly round and durable balls that never tire of rolling, because every billiard player should be aware of the materials used to construct the billiard balls. Billiard balls made of ivory were the first to be used in competition.

  • A combination of the high price and the fragility and lack of uniformity of the balls produced in this manner led to the search for a less expensive material.
  • Using it in conjunction with alcohol, it was possible to create a plastic substance that could be used to manufacture balls that were far less expensive to produce.
  • Half a century later, the chemist Leo Baekeland developed bakelite, a kind of phenolic resin with which the vast majority of billiard balls are now made.
  • the brand is from Belgium Among the billiard ball manufacturers, Aramithis is the most well-known.
  • If you have never seen the interior of a billiard ball, you may be surprised to learn that they are totally solid, and that in the case of Saluc (Aramith), the colors and numbers are not simply surface, but are ingrained throughout the whole ball itself.
  • Some customers clean them immediately after each performance, while others have not cleaned them at all since purchasing the seats.
  • Despite the fact that they always roll, always bounce, and always end up in the pockets, they are fast to get out and return to their safe haven, which is the box or the triangle.
  • A billiard ball is sometimes referred to as a cue ball in some circles.
  • Another article that may be of interest to you is one on how to set up pool tables at home, which is entitled:

Find out What are Pool Balls Made Of? [A Rich Story Behind Them]

Have you ever wondered why the pool ball is so difficult to hit?

When I first saw a pool ball, something triggered a thought in my head, prompting me to inquire as to what material the pool balls were composed of. Continue reading if you’re a curious person who wants to know the solution to the question.

What are pool balls made of?

The phenolic resin used in the production of the pool ball is environmentally friendly. It is the greatest raw material currently available for the production of all types of pool and billiards game balls. It is utilized by all pool ball manufacturers that are committed to producing high-quality pool balls. Modern pool balls are strong and resistant to chipping and scratching, and they are composed of high-quality materials. The phenolic resin is the work of art that has gone into this wonderful innovation.

The history behind balls for pool

Prior to the introduction of phenolic resin pool balls, the first set of pool balls was made of wood and was not prohibitively expensive. When Europeans and Americans were interested in making pool balls from ivory, which was discovered in elephant tusks, they were able to influence the game’s evolution. The ivory balls were first seen as an improvement over the wooden balls, but with time, they became brittle. After being played for a long period of time, an ivory ball will usually become damaged and will change color somewhat.

As demand for numerous goods created from elephant tusk expanded throughout time, the animals’ survival, particularly in Africa and Asia, was imperiled, threatening their very existence.

Hyatt’s failed attempt

The game of pool and billiards had achieved greater popularity than ever before, and the necessity to produce a durable replacement ball that would age less quickly emerged. Some of the volunteer contributors promised consumers a set amount of money if they could come up with a pool ball that was not ivory and could endure high humidity levels. A specific individual named Hyatt conducted experiments using camphor, nitrocellulose, and alcohol, resulting in the formation of a spherical ball when subjected to extreme pressure.

It was discovered that nitrocellulose was not a stable material, and on rare instances, the balls may explode if struck with enough power.

The Story of Phelan Leo Baekeland

Phelan Leo Baekeland invented his Bakelite pool balls in the early 1900s, which had qualities that were similar to those of plastic at the time. Leo H. Baekeland is an American author. Thanks to bakelitmuseum.de for the usage of their images. In contrast to the nitrocellulose kind of balls, the Bakelite type was more robust and did not burst when more force was applied to the stroke shots during play. Bakelite pool balls were generally accepted a few years later, and mass production began shortly after.

Bakelite pool balls originated as a result of developmental considerations and have proven to be the finest. Modern plastic resin balls have effectively captivated the interest of everyone in today’s society. Please feel free to pin this post to your Pinterest board!

Phenolic Resin Balls

Phelan Leo Baekeland invented his Bakelite pool balls in the early 1900s, a polymer that has properties similar to plastic in its composition and appearance. Baekeland, Leo H. (Leo H.) Thanks to bakelitmuseum.de for the usage of their photographs. At the expense of the nitrocellulose kind of balls, the Bakelite type was more robust and did not burst when additional force was applied to the stroke shots. Baking soda-based pool balls became popular for a few years after that, and mass production began because they were inexpensive and simple to make.

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Modern plastic resin balls have effectively captivated the interest of everyone in today’s world.

How are Phenolic resin balls made?

Phenolic resin balls are simple to manufacture if you follow the proper procedures and adhere to the necessary specifications. Despite the fact that it takes a large number of meticulous processes, the essential notion underlying the manufacture is the mixing of the hydrocarbon phenol with formaldehyde. Its ability to be readily molded onto any surface is one of the resin’s most advantageous characteristics, which is why it requires a complicated manufacturing process. Phenolic resinhas long been recognized as the ideal material for creating pool balls since it has shown to be resistant to the stresses of stroke play while also meeting the demands of the game.

Regardless of the weather conditions, the pool balls remain in their original shape and form.

You can play pool with a pool ball from any location on the planet.

How durable are Phenolic resin balls?

A phenolic resin pool ball will never chip or shatter on the stroke of any cue tip texture, regardless of the material used to make it. A dense and powerful bonding exists between the molecules of the substance, which prevents it from fracturing. If this function had not been included, how many players would have been eliminated after fracturing a cue ball? Phenolic resin has a constant density throughout, which aids in the transmission of momentum from one ball to the next. Bakelite pool balls have a flat surface on all sides.

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The other varieties of pool balls did not fare well in any harsh conditions, and several of them were unable to sustain repeated break shots after extended use.

When it comes to pool ball manufacturing, it is uncommon to find a substance that can compete with phenolic resin. Following the development of Phelan Leo Baekeland, all other balls made of various materials would no longer be supported.

Final Thoughts

You now understand what material pool balls are composed of! Please let me know if you enjoyed the post.

What Are Pool Balls Made Of?

Did you ever stop to think about how the pool balls were created the last time you were playing a game of pool? It takes a lot of effort to create billiard balls that are durable enough to resist being struck repeatedly by pool sticks and the cue ball.

History of Pool Balls

Did you ever stop to think about how the pool balls were created when you were playing a game of pool? Making billiard balls that are durable enough to endure being struck by pool sticks and the cue ball on a regular basis takes a lot of effort.

Pool Balls Today

Pool balls are currently made from two basic types of materials: rubber and plastic.

Phenolic Resin Billiard Balls

When a firm that specialized in the manufacture of pool balls first opened its doors in 1923, it was considered revolutionary. Saluc was the name of this firm. The firm is best known today for its Aramith billiard balls and Brunswick Centennial pool balls, both of which are manufactured by the corporation. Saluc is the only pool ball producer in the world that employ phenolic resin in the manufacturing of its products. In order to make the balls, phenolic resin (a thermosetting plastic) is applied to them with even more force than Bakelite (a thermosetting plastic).

With the exception of the laser-etched numerals on the exterior of the ball, everything about the ball is identical on the inside.

Billiard balls manufactured by Saluc are subjected to a meticulous 13-step manufacturing procedure.

  • Roundness
  • Balance
  • Color with pinpoint accuracy
  • Density
  • Tolerance in Diameter
  • Brilliance
  • Polishing of the surface

The entire time required for the creation of phenolic resin billiard balls is 23 days. The weight of each ball is evened out to ensure that it matches up with other balls of comparable weights, and that each ball in a set weighs the same. Phenolic resin balls are really trendy right now. So much so that Saluc accounts for 85 percent of all pool balls and billiard balls sold on the market today. Not to add that phenolic resin pool balls have a lifespan of up to 40 years and can withstand up to 400,000 hits.

Polyester Resin Billiard Balls

Pool balls made of polyester resin are an alternative to those made of phenolic resin. They do not retain their luster as well as other materials and wear out considerably more quickly. Polyester resin balls typically have a lifespan of eight years or approximately 80,000 impacts. This set of pool balls, on the other hand, is ideal for novices who are just beginning how to play the game of pool and want their own set of balls. Players who decide to remain with pool will almost always upgrade to phenolic resin balls at some point in their playing careers.

Are There Any Other Materials Used to Make Billiard Balls?

With the exception of phenolic resin and polyester resin, there are no additional materials utilized in the production of billiard balls. That is, unless you want a vintage set constructed of oak, in which case you should go elsewhere. Ivory balls are extremely difficult to come by these days and are regarded a collector’s item if you are fortunate enough to stumble across a set in good shape. Epoxy resin is a relatively new substance that is only now beginning to be explored for its potential applications.

Epoxy is already being used in a variety of applications such as flooring and countertop refinishing. Only time will tell if epoxy resin will be a viable alternative material for the production of pool balls.

Blatt Billiards Has Balls and Tables for Your Rec Room

In fact, except from phenolic resin and polyester resin, there are no other ingredients that are employed in the production of billiard balls. If you don’t want a vintage set made of hardwood, there’s no need to get one. It is quite difficult to come across a set of ivory balls in good shape these days, and they are regarded a collector’s item if you do. Epoxy resin is a relatively new substance that is only now beginning to be explored. For flooring and countertop restoration, epoxy has already found a variety of uses.

Are Pool Balls Made Of Ivory?

*Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via our links. Have you ever been playing pool and thought to yourself, “Wait a minute, what are those pool balls made of?” Perhaps you inadvertently knocked one off the table, chipped it, and it seemed to be white on the inside. A lot of people assume that pool balls are made of ivory, but in this post, we’ll address all of your questions regarding pool balls and the materials that they’re constructed of.

Despite the fact that pool balls were initially made of ivory, they are now constructed of a chemical compound known as Bakelite, and some are composed of a combination of plastics, Bakelite, acrylics, and resin, or any one of these materials on its own.

Watch this brief video to see precisely what the interior of a billiard ball looks like when it is cunched open by the cunsetter.

What is Ivory?

The links in this post may be affiliated with the author’s company. As an Amazon Associate, we receive a commission on qualifying purchases made via our link. You’ve probably wondered what the pool balls are composed of while you’ve been playing pool. One possibility is that you unintentionally chipped one off the table, causing the interior to appear white. We will address all of your questions regarding pool balls and what they are composed of in this post, as many people assume they are made of ivory.

Despite the fact that pool balls were initially made of ivory, they are now manufactured of a chemical compound known as Bakelite, and some are composed of a combination of plastics, Bakelite, acrylics, and resin, or any one of these materials on its own today.

Watch this brief video to see precisely what the interior of a pool ball looks like when it is cunched open by a professional.

Who invented the new pool balls of today?

The abandoning of Ivory was required in order for the development to proceed on a large scale. To this end, the market was presented with a monetized competition. John Wesley Hyatt, an inventor, accepted the challenge and developed a new invention. Wesley Hyatt employed a variety of procedures, developed a large number of compounds, and mixed a variety of chemicals to create a material that is hard enough to withstand the pressure of cue sticks for the duration of its useful life. Although his efforts were insufficient to meet the task, they did contribute to the creation of industrial plastic.

  • Bakelite was the name he gave it.
  • It was a commercial success as a result of its long-term durability and dependability.
  • The production of billiard and pool balls is no longer standardized by method.
  • They are chemically created, and as a result, their whole manufacturing process is centered on chemistry.
  • There are a plethora of firms that are involved in the development of these balls.
  • As a result, several levels of quality balls are available on the market.
  • Due to the fact that these materials are not dependent on the environment, they are sturdy, non-flammable, and long-lasting in nature.
  • If you have ever picked up a pool or billiard ball, you will be able to feel its hardness and solidity as a result of the emotional weight it carries.
  • It’s only that the interior has been entirely filled with a strong plastic.
  • A few have the ball number written on them, while the others have the player’s name etched on them.

They are made of high-quality synthetic resin. The billiard or pool balls, on the other hand, are not readily produced. There are several procedures involved in the production of Bakelite balls, cast phenolic resin balls, and other types of balls.

How are pool balls made?

First, the chemical components are heated to a temperature sufficient to transform them into the resin liquid. Second, it must go through a number of other sophisticated processes to ensure that the end product does not cause humiliation when it is presented. The liquid substance is poured into the circular frame in order to form a ball shape at the end. Third, these are allowed to cool before the completed balls are subjected to a quality inspection and polishing process. Despite the fact that modern billiard balls are composed of high-quality plastic and chemically synthesized materials, playing with ivory balls provided the most enjoyable experience.

Companies are putting out their best efforts to create pool balls that will offer individuals with the same type of experience they had when they first started playing the game.

Conclusion

Now that you understand the basics of pool balls, including how they are created and what materials they are composed of, you can go into your game with a level of confidence that most people do not possess. Also, if this is your first pool table, and you want to be sure you receive the best of the finest pool balls, you may now make your selection on which pool balls to purchase. No matter which ones you choose, you will undoubtedly have a lot of fun playing pool with them for many years to come.

The Complete History of Pool & Billiard Balls – Quedos Billiards

The game of pool has a rich and intriguing history, which you may read about here. Throughout history, kings and the common public have participated in the game, as have presidents, politicians, ladies and gentlemen, and other notable figures. At one point in time, notably in Northern Europe, it was handled in the same manner as croquet around the 15th century. After a period of time, the game was transferred inside. There was a wooden table with a green cloth on top, which represented grass, and a few chairs around it.

  1. Back then, pool was played by shoving the balls about rather than striking them with a stick as it is now.
  2. Due to the fact that it was formerly considered a noble game, pool was primarily played by royalty and those members of the nobility who were affluent enough to acquire the necessary equipment.
  3. In order to keep the balls from falling off the table, rails were built around them.
  4. As a result, they began to deliberately aim their weapons towards them.

As you can see, playing pool is not the only enjoyable aspect of the game; knowing about the game’s rich history may be as well. However, did you know that the pool balls themselves have an interesting history as well?

How It All Started

Everyone is familiar with the term “pool balls.” They have a distinct appearance and cannot be confused for a basketball or any other form of ball in the world of sports due to its distinctive design. These pool balls are tiny and firm, and they are marked with numbers and different colors on them. They are available in a range of patterns and diameters as well. Over the years, players and experts have established that the hardness of the ball has a significant impact on the accuracy of the ball.

  1. The balls themselves have undergone several modifications as a result of evolving technology, notably the transition from one material to another.
  2. You can only image how different things would be if they existed back then compared to what we have now.
  3. As a result, the producers made the decision, despite the fact that the players had little influence.
  4. Despite the fact that some balls were made of clay, there was another substance that most players and professionals preferred.
  5. It was at this point that these Europeans began to appreciate the beauty of the exotic materials that originated from these locations.
  6. Elephant tusks were previously considered a symbol of riches and social prestige.
  7. Swimming pool balls were fashioned of ivory because of the substance used to produce them, which was highly sought after and used to make walking sticks, piano keys, and – you got it – pool balls.
  8. If ivory were to be used on pool balls today, it would be a very contentious topic of discussion among pool players.
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There were not many environmental and conservation concerns at the time, which is why no one attempted to find an alternative – at least not during that particular period.Ivories were regarded as magnificent, coming only from the tusks of Asian elephants, and were therefore prohibited from being traded.

There was no better natural material for a pool ball since it included all of the properties that a pool ball should have. The manufacturers noticed a variety of characteristics in ivories that they couldn’t find anywhere else in the world of ivory. These characteristics were as follows:

For a long time, elephant ivory was the material of choice for pool balls due to its durability and elasticity. Unfortunately, mass markets in many regions of the world, especially western countries, squandered an excessive amount of the raw material in their products. As previously said, ivory was not only used for pool balls, but also for commercial trinkets, combs, and piano keys, among other things. Wild elephants were threatened with extinction in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and their extinction was a distinct possibility.

  1. It was revealed that the producers could only produce roughly four to five high-quality balls at a time, depending on the season.
  2. Professional ivory turners would then work their magic on the massive raw slabs of ivory, transforming them into glittering spheres of gold.
  3. It was more focused on the issue of cost containment.
  4. Although they are no longer manufactured, they may still be found in collections such as the Smithsonian Institution and other institutions that date back to 1925.

The Search for New Pool Balls

Although ivory pool balls were first produced in the 17th century, they continued to be produced up to and including 1875 and 1920. Manufacturers, on the other hand, began seeking for an alternate solution as early as 1869. After all, ivory was a costly material to deal with in the first place. It was determined by Phelan and Collender, a manufacturer of pool tables, to give a prize to anyone who could design a pool ball that did not include any ivory materials. Although John Wesley Hyatt, an inventor from Albany, New York, was competing for the $10,000 prize (equal to $26,850 in today’s Australian dollars), his application stood out from the others.

  1. Camphor, nitrocellulose, and alcohol were the three components he used in his creation.
  2. He applied great pressure to the object in order to acquire the correct form.
  3. Consider this: if it weren’t for the game of pool, plastic would very certainly not exist today.
  4. Hyatt worked hard over the years to improve the design of his invention, which was eventually successful.
  5. The most significant issue was the long-term durability of the new balls.
  6. Although you may have heard stories of bursting balls, these were not urban legends.
  7. According to Hyatt, if two balls collide with each other, the resulting explosion will occur.
  8. Some folks were not bothered by it.
  9. To make matters worse, the substance was combustible.
  10. Despite the fact that his celluloid balls did not completely replace the ivory balls, they did serve as an inspiration for other producers to develop different forms of plastic.

Bakelite, a petroleum-based material first developed in 1907 and named after its inventor, Leo Baekeland, an American scientist, was named after Baekeland. It was eventually discovered that this particular material was ideal for pool balls.

Phenolic Resins and Their Role in Pool Ball History

Although ivory pool balls were first produced in the 17th century, they continued to be produced through 1875 and into the twentieth century. Manufacturers, on the other hand, began seeking for an alternate solution as early as 1868. To be sure, working with ivory was not a cheap material. It was determined by Phelan and Collender, a manufacturer of pool tables, to give a prize to anyone who could design a pool ball that did not include any ivory material. Although John Wesley Hyatt, an inventor from Albany, New York, was competing for the $10,000 prize (equal to $26,850 in today’s Australian dollars), his entry stood out from the crowd.

  1. Camphor, nitrocellulose, and alcohol were the components he used in his creation.
  2. The form he sought was achieved by the application of severe pressure.
  3. Consider this: if it weren’t for the game of pool, plastic would almost certainly not have existed at all in the first instance.
  4. Hyatt worked hard over the years to improve the design of his device and eventually succeeded.
  5. Durability of the new balls was the most serious issue.
  6. The idea of exploding balls may have seemed like a fiction to you at the time, but they were a reality at the time.
  7. The impact causes an explosion.
  8. Some folks were unconcerned about it.
  9. The substance was also combustible, which was an additional consideration.
  10. However, even if his celluloid balls did not completely replace ivory balls, they did serve as an inspiration for other producers to develop additional varieties of plastic.
  11. As it turned out, the plastic used for pool balls was the ideal choice.
  • It is incredibly heat resistant
  • It is also quite durable. It is a far less expensive alternative to ivory and other materials. Because of its flexibility, it can be formed into the proper spherical shape for the pool balls. Bakelite is resistant to impact. Unlike other materials, Bakelite balls are simple to clean and preserve.

In 1923, the Belgian company Saluc SA was established. Although this firm is a specialized producer, it has become well-known as the company that created the Aramith brand name. Saluc SA has played a vital role in the history of pool balls. Aramith is a pool ball manufacturer that specializes in the production of phenolic resin balls. As you are already aware, this substance is the greatest alternative available since the demise of celluloid. But, what precisely is phenolic resin, and how does it work?

  1. Phenol is an organic chemical that has the appearance of white crystalline crystals.
  2. Since a result, it must be handled with caution, as it has the potential to burn an inexperienced individual.
  3. However, technological advancements have allowed for the development of other methods of extraction.
  4. Phenolic resins are a type of substance that you may be familiar with because they are utilized in the production of circuit boards.
  5. Aramith previously said that the phenolic balls are so durable that they may survive up to five times longer than other types of balls, according to his own words.

Aside from Aramith, other materials such as polyester and polymers are also employed. According to testing, Aramith balls are capable of withstanding more than 400,000 strikes before breaking. Balls made of other materials, on the other hand, are rarely able to endure as long as this.

Other Types of Plastics

In 1923, the Belgian company Saluc SAwas established. The Aramith brand has become synonymous with this firm, despite the fact that it is a niche manufacturer. In the history of pool balls, Saluc SA has played an essential role. In addition to phenolic resin balls, Aramith is also a pool ball brand. As you are already aware, this substance is the best alternative to celluloid since the invention of the printing press. How does phenolic resin work, and what precisely is it? Carboxylic acid, commonly known as phenol base, is used in this process.

  • However, despite its solid state, the substance is volatile and moderately acidic.
  • When phenol was first discovered, it was made by extracting tar from coal.
  • These days, petroleum is used to make it.
  • It is a widely acknowledged material for the production of moulded pool balls, which is great news for pool players everywhere.
  • There are alternative materials, such as polyester or polymers, that are employed in addition to Aramith.
  • Alternative materials such as rubber or plastic, on the other hand, are unlikely to survive as long.

Interesting Facts about Pool and Pool Balls

A swimming pool comes to mind when you mention the term pool, and some people would be correct in their assumption. These two, on the other hand, have absolutely nothing in common. The term pool is derived from the French word “poule,” which literally translates as “hen.” The phrase, on the other hand, refers to the ante or group prize awarded once a bet is won. Other games, like as poker, which have nothing to do with billiards, but which use a pool, are also available. Even so, only the game of pocket billiards came to be associated with the term “pool.” A fascinating fact is that the term “pool room” is now commonly used to refer to spaces where people gather to play pool.

Pool tables were built in each room since guests required a way to spend the time at that period.

Pool, balls, and tables evolved over time as a result of the passage of time.

  • English Billiards is a type of pool game played in the United Kingdom. From 1770 through the early 1920s, this was the most popular game in the United Kingdom. It was a game in which there were only three balls available to use. Six pockets were included in the rectangular table that was utilized. This traditional game is now mostly connected with the sport of “snooker.” It is a challenging, yet visually appealing game that incorporates both defensive and offensive strategies. As opposed to three balls, there are 22 balls in play this time around
  • Billiards (four-ball) in the United States This game was popular in the United States until the 1870s. There was a four-pocket table with a minimum height of 335 cm in the room. There were four billiard balls in this game, with two of them being white and the other two being red. It is seen as a natural progression from the English Billiards. Carom Billiards is a game in which players must pocket the balls, scratch the cue ball, or make caroms on two to three balls in order to earn points. It is the act of striking two balls with the cue ball in a single stroke with the cue ball. There were several distinct methods to score using carom in the game of American Four-Ball. It was possible to get 13 points on the board with just one attempt. In the 1870s, two sports derived from the American Four-Ball gained popularity and eventually eclipsed it. One of them consisted mostly of playing simple caroms with three balls, which was the focus of the other. The table that was utilized had no pockets and was referred to as the straight rail table. Originally known as Fifteen-Ball Pool, it was the origin of all carom games. The game included 15 balls, as the name says. When a ball was sunk, the player received a set amount of points dependent on the value of the ball that was sunk. The total number of points earned was 120. The winner would be determined by who obtained more than half of the total first (61+ points). This game is also known as the “61 Pool,” and it was the game that was utilized in the first-ever championship pool tournament in the United States, which took place in 1878. The game was won by a Canadian called Cyrille Dion. The rules of the game were altered in 1888. Rather than awarding points based on the number of balls pocketed, points were provided based on the number of balls pocketed instead. It was at this point that Continuous Pool supplanted Fifteen Ball Pool as the primary championship game. The term Continuous was given to the game because of the manner it is played. The player who shoots the final ball of the rack will be the one who breaks the following rack. The entire number of points would be maintained (in a continuous manner) from one rack to the next. Various other games During the twentieth century, the Eight-Ball was invented. Straight Pool was introduced ten years later, and the Nine-Ball game is thought to have first appeared about 1920.

When purchasing pool balls, the brand name is significant for one reason only: it indicates reliability in the product. Gameplay requires the properties of hardness, resilience, and friction coefficient to function well. Always search for a high-quality set when purchasing a new one. Usually, Aramith is the first brand that people think of, but there are other well-known names in the industry, such as Sterling and Elephant.

For the time being, Aramith is the only manufacturer of pure phenolic resin, which is the material of choice for those looking for balls that last longer and are resistant to moisture, heat, impact, and chemical exposure.

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