Friday night lights, provided by petrochemicals

Many athletes, from Pop Warner to the NFL, participate in American football each fall. Petrochemicals play a vital role in the game, from the plastics in the equipment used to play the sport to the artificial turf to the souvenirs and cups used for beverage consumption every game. In honor of the return of football season and the games that will be played across the country tonight, let’s take a look at the plastics that make up the typical football uniform, field, and ball. Helmet The outer shell of today’s helmets is made of a polycarbonate alloy with protective liners, some of which are inflatable, and contains foams used to absorb energy on impact. The face mask is made of either plastic or steel wire coated with a thermoplastic made of a polyethylene copolymer. The foams inside the helmet are made of vinyl nitrile, a blend of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and nitrile rubber. Click to view larger image. Pads The shoulder pads beneath the player’s jersey are made of a hard plastic outer shell with foam underneath used to absorb a large amount of energy. The outer shell of some of the newer shoulder pads is made of a carbon fiber, produced … continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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