With all due respect to American football, the real thing is about to take center stage.
The World Cup, arguably the biggest event in sports, kicks off June 14. And while the U.S. men's team did not qualify (looking forward to the U.S. ladies dominating the world, again, in 2019!), 32 worthy teams did, and the world's best will be crowned during the next month.
Rubber, of course, will be littered throughout the tournament. I recently posted about artificial turf and have no doubt some of the ones used in Russia also contain rubber/urethane elements to ensure quality of play.
But let's not forget about that Adidas soccer ball. There will be plenty of them kicked around from now until July 15. The tournament went through 3,240 balls in 2014, and every 2018 version contains an EPDM rubber compound from Arlanxeo.
The rubber layer of the soccer ball—or that sponge directly underneath its outer cover—is made from Keltan Eco 6950 EPDM rubber. The layer serves as a moldable cushion, which Arlanxeo said serves for optimal bounce characteristics during the games. The material had to meet strict requirements for properties such as density, hardness and weight.