The football that would be officially used at the FIFA World Cup 2018 would apparently comprise the Keltan Eco – a bio-based ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. As per reports, this material used would be manufactured by ARLANXEO, one of the leading players of EPDM market, and would serve as the base for a sponge rubber layer placed underneath the ball’s outer cover. The team responsible for coming up with the Telstar 18 ball states that the EPDM rubber serves as a moldable cushion for the ball and apparently aids optimal bounce characteristics during the game.For the record, the Keltan Eco, that would soon debut in ethylene propylene diene monomer market, is the world’s first EPDM rubber which is manufactured with the help of bio-based ethylene derived from sugarcane. According to Chretien Rooijakkers, the Head of Global Marketing for the Keltan line at ARLANXEO, with the Keltan Eco portfolio, in its entirety, the company has come with a range of EPDM products to reduce the usage of fossil-based products and save resources. Additionally, he states that these products have a significantly lower carbon footprint than conventionally manufactured polymers – on the basis of which experts predict that bio-based solutions would define the EPDM industry in the years ahead.
Stefan Bichler, the project manager of the Football Operations at Adidas AG, was quoted mentioning that ecological sustainability was prioritized as a principal criterion for products selection for FIFA football. Furthermore, he states that the company aimed to manufacture the new soccer ball using high-tech materials that are not only sustainable, but also exhibit high performance characteristics.
For the uninitiated, ARLANXEO has been a pivotal player in bio-based EPDM market since 2011, when the company manufactured bio-based EPDM rubber at the Triunfo site in Brazil. Apparently, the firm’s partner Braskem manufactures bio-based ethylene that directly flows to ARLANXEO’s EPDM plant by pipeline.
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