A ping pong ball is a light hollow ball used in table tennis. The ball has to be a round object which hits or is thrown or kicked in games. Are Ping Pong Balls Flammable?
Ping pong balls are flammable. Because usually, the ball is made of celluloid or some other plastic material.
Moreover, old table tennis balls consisted of acidified celluloid, the instability of which increases over time. Hence, the slightest heat source (even a tiny spark) can cause it to go up in flames.
Do ping pong balls melt?
A fresh ping pong ball isn’t burst into flame, although it can be ignited using a match. However, as celluloid ages, camphor gets squeezed out of the plastic. Exposure to ultraviolet light from the Sun or fluorescent bulbs and exposure to humidity break the chains in the polymer and weaken it.
Generally, celluloid is combustible, but the melting point is around 80 degrees Celsius, which will not be reached by friction during a game.
Are table tennis balls and ping pong balls the same?
Generally, official ping pong balls are slightly larger than table tennis balls. Ping pong balls are 3.7mm in diameter, while table tennis balls are 3.4mm in diameter.
Celluloid is a thermoplastic made from nitrocellulose and camphor. Sometimes, dyes and stabilizers are added. A typical ping pong ball might consist of 70% to 80% nitrocellulose, with up to 30% camphor. Small amounts of dye, ethanol, and stabilizers make the ball colorful, more stable, and less flammable.
A fresh ping pong ball isn’t burst into flame, although it can be ignited using a match. However, as celluloid ages, camphor gets squeezed out of the plastic. Exposure to ultraviolet light from the Sun or fluorescent bulbs and exposure to humidity break the chains in the polymer and weaken it. Eventually, the ball becomes brittle and can ignite from impact or friction.
What if celluloid is flammable?
There are two reasons. The first is that celluloid is easily formed into a smooth, light ball. For making the ball, nitrocellulose and camphor sheets are soaked in hot ethanol until they are soft. The sheet is pressed into hemisphere molds. After the plastic hardens, the two halves of the ball are glued together using an alcohol-based adhesive, and the balls are agitated to smooth their seams.
Ping pong balls only contain air when made, but people often think they are filled with flammable gas because the plastic and glue off-gas into the center of the ball, leaving a nasty chemical odor. The resulting vapor is toxic and possibly flammable.
The main reason celluloid is used for the balls is because of its coefficient of restitution. In other words, they bounce better than other materials. Since 2015, the International Table Tennis Federation has encouraged ball manufacturers to seek alternatives to celluloid.
Modern balls may be made of a mixture of celluloid and another plastic or polymer altogether. However, all balls must have a matte finish, be 40 millimeters in diameter, have a mass of 2.7 grams, and have a coefficient of restitution of 0.89 to 0.92.
Why is it called a ping pong ball?
It is derived from ‘ping pang qiu’ in Mandarin Chinese, which translates literally to ‘ping pong ball.’ In other words, Ping Pong is the correct Mandarin Chinese name for the sport.
Modern table tennis balls have been made of celluloid since 1930, a composition of nitrocellulose and camphor initially used for making films for photography. The official material used in table tennis balls was changed from celluloid to plastic, a material free of celluloid, in 2014.
What happens when you heat a ping pong ball?
The hot water method is the easiest way of getting a dent out of a ping pong ball. It’s also the way that’s used to get marks out of other things like cars with ping pong balls. However, it works by heating the air inside the ball, which causes it to expand.
What happens to the temperature of gas particles inside a ping pong ball when it is placed in hot water? The gas particle temperature rises, trying to match that of the water, moving it rapidly and creating pressure inside the ball to expand it.
Can ping pong balls explode?
Several years ago, if you played a game of ping pong or table tennis, there was a real chance the ball could explode when hit or burst into flame from friction as it struck the table. Do you know why ping pong balls burn? Contrary to a popular myth, they are filled with air and not flammable gas.
The reason they burn is that they are made of celluloid. Celluloid is a flammable polymer, much like nitrocellulose of guncotton.
What type of plastic are ping pong balls?
Plastic balls, poly balls, or 40+ balls are all terms used to describe the current table tennis ball. They are usually made from Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, commonly known as ABS plastic.
Ping pong balls related (FAQs)
What happens when you heat a ping pong ball?
As the air particles inside the ball get heated up, they begin to expand. This changes the pressure inside the ball and begins to put pressure on the dent and cause it to pop back into place.
Is burning ping pong balls toxic?
Burning ping pong balls are not toxic. The issue has gone back and forth across the table, and officials have decided that ping pong balls should no longer be classified as dangerous goods.