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#113478 - 01/12/10 11:22 PM What is reactive resin?
beefers1 Offline
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Registered: 02/04/09
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A/S/L: 20/M/Toronto, ON
What exactly is the chemical formula of the coverstock of a modern reactive resin bowling ball? How about a urethane ball?
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#113484 - 01/13/10 12:03 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: beefers1]
Fpurhe Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 171
A/S/L: 20/M
very interesting question i googled it and the first answer on the page was this very thread!!!!

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#113487 - 01/13/10 12:13 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: Fpurhe]
KoukiGS Offline
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Registered: 01/05/10
Posts: 65
A/S/L: 22/M/CT
From bowlers paradise:
Polyester/Plastic: The type of ball that most recreational bowlers will recognize is the polyester bowling ball, which is commonly referred to as a “plastic” bowling ball. Polyester bowling balls have been available since the 1960s. They have a low cost compared to the other types of bowling balls and they are very durable, which is why they are used as “house” balls on the racks of most bowling centers. The durability comes from the hard, low friction nature of the polyester cover. This low friction nature causes the “plastic” ball to skid more and maintain a straighter trajectory. “Plastic” balls are primarily used by beginning bowlers; however, many experienced and professional bowlers use them for spare shots and for very dry lane conditions.

Urethane: In the late 1970s, bowling manufacturers experimented with coverstocks softer than polyester in order to create more hook potential. The result of these experiments was a polyurethane coverstock, or urethane for short. Urethane has a higher friction surface than polyester, so it will hook more. It can be easily sanded or polished to control its hook potential. Urethane is the preferred coverstock for beginning hook bowlers. It is also the dry lane choice for many experienced bowlers.

Reactive Resin: In the early 1990s, ball manufacturer started adding resin particles to their urethane coverstocks. The resin made the ball tackier than plain urethane which increased its hook potential. A side effect of the resin is that it makes the ball hydroplane on the oil more than plain urethane. The combination of the increased skid on oil and stronger hooking ability on dry boards gives the resin ball a bigger backend reaction for more striking power than prior ball types. Reactive resin is the primary coverstock for most experienced bowlers on most lane conditions.

Particle: Experienced bowlers preferred the smooth reaction and controllability of urethane, but they could not refuse the power provided by reactive resin balls. The ball manufacturers response to this situation was to add textured particles such as ceramics and glass to the resin enhanced polyurethane balls. The added texture gave the ball more grip in the oil for a smooth, controllable hook style, while maintaining the powerful backend of reactive resin. The hook potential for most particle bowling balls is higher than all of the other types of coverstocks. This extremely high hook potential means that most particle balls are for use on oily lane conditions only. However, ball makers are constantly tinkering with the quantity and size of the particles used, so particle balls are becoming more versatile across many types of lane conditioning.


Edited by KoukiGS (01/13/10 12:14 AM)
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#113488 - 01/13/10 12:19 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: Fpurhe]
Fpurhe Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 171
A/S/L: 20/M
here is what i found:
urethane is ethyl carbamate (C3H7NO2)(Carbon 3, Hydrogen 7, Nitrogen 1, Oxygen 2) and polyurethane is any polymer consisting of a chain of organic units joined by urethane (carbamate) links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization(Step-growth polymerization refers to a type of polymerization mechanism in which bi-functional or multifunctional monomers react to form first dimers, then trimers, longer oligomers and eventually long chain polymers.) by reacting a monomer containing at least two isocyanate functional groups with another monomer containing at least two hydroxyl (alcohol) groups in the presence of a catalyst.

That is polyurethane. Still working on reactive resin.

If that made your head hurt then be warned about this.

Reactive resin:

Synthetic resins are materials with similar properties to natural resins—viscous liquids capable of hardening. They are typically manufactured by esterification or soaping of organic compounds. The classic variety is epoxy resin, manufactured through polymerization-polyaddition or polycondensation reactions, used as a thermoset polymer for adhesives and composites. Epoxy resin is two times stronger than concrete, seamless and waterproof. Accordingly, it has been mainly in use for industrial flooring purposes since the 1960s. Since 2000, however, epoxy and polyurethane resins are used in interiors as well, mainly in Western Europe.

One more category, which constitutes 75% of resins used, is unsaturated polyester resin. Ion exchange resin is another important class with application in water purification and catalysis of organic reactions. See also AT-10 resin, melamine resin. Another synthetic polymer is also sometimes called by the same suffix, acetal resin. By contrast with the other synthetics, however, it has a simple chain structure with the repeat unit of form -[CH2O]-.

So you see this is very complex stuff. I knew about 70% of what they said from Chemistry and Animal Life Science.
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#113532 - 01/13/10 09:19 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: Fpurhe]
cgeorg Offline


Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 3567
A/S/L: Pittsburgh, Pa
"Plastic balls" are polyester.
"Urethane balls" are polyurethane (also a plastic).
"Reactive balls" are polyurethane with additives to increase porosity (still a plastic).
"Particle balls" are reactive balls with hard particulate added (still plastic).


A note from wikipedia: Polyurethane products are often called "urethanes". They should not be confused with the specific substance urethane, also known as ethyl carbamate. Polyurethanes are neither produced from ethyl carbamate, nor do they contain it.
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#113549 - 01/13/10 10:42 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: cgeorg]
10PinGaloot Offline
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Registered: 05/19/09
Posts: 2094
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Originally Posted By: cgeorg
"Reactive balls" are polyurethane with additives to increase porosity (still a plastic).

Yes, Chris.

And the "resin" part of the name simply means that the plastic starts out as a viscous liquid before it hardens, while the "reactive" part refers to the fact that the liquid resin reacts with the additives (some of which are plasticizers) to foam up and create the porosity, in a manner similar to those foaming home insulation plastics.

This is so that they will act like a urethane ball on the oil, and then they will hook when off the oil because of their unique surface properties.

In other words, the word "reactive" doesn't refer to how the ball reacts to the lane conditioner.

Every ball manufacturer has their own (sometimes secret) formula for the additives.

Like the word "plastic" as applied to bowling balls, this is just the moniker that the industry and/or bowling community used.

The plasticizers aren't the additives that make the resin foam up. Some remain in the ball after manufacture. In fact, the first time you sweat the ball, a lot of the stuff you see coming out of it will be plasticizers. You could sweat a brand new, unused ball, and see this seepage.

This is all my uncorroborated opinion, but I'm pretty sure I'm right....

As usual, Joe Slowinski has some good info at
Coverstock Basics




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#113556 - 01/13/10 11:24 AM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: 10PinGaloot]
sk8shorty01 Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 01/05/09
Posts: 5132
A/S/L: 29/M/Merritt Island, FL
Another quick note for beefers question:

Realize that all reactive resin cover stocks are different. That is why a company has a name on that specific cover stock and how they talk about, we took the weight block of this ball added with the cover stock from that ball in order to create this new ball. Each cover stock is going to have a different chemical makeup in order to create variances in the reaction. The cover stock on the Cell Solid is a solid reactive resin at 2000, the cover stock on the Nomad Solid is 2000 Polished (slightly different) but the Cover on the Cell Solid is a lot more aggressive in nature than that of the Nomad.
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#113570 - 01/13/10 01:22 PM Re: What is reactive resin? [Re: Fpurhe]
beefers1 Offline
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Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 1212
A/S/L: 20/M/Toronto, ON
Originally Posted By: NNBOWLING
If that made your head hurt then be warned about this.


No worries. Can't believe the organic chemistry I learned in school actually has some real-life relevance.

Originally Posted By: cgeorg
A note from wikipedia: Polyurethane products are often called "urethanes". They should not be confused with the specific substance urethane, also known as ethyl carbamate.


That made it a lot more confusing, with what NNBOWLING posted earlier.

I know that there're different polyurethanes (it's just a type of polymer, just like polyesters), but I'm wondering if there's a specific type that's used in bowling balls.
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