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Materials - Metals.

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Brendan King Materials Metals Metals tend to be hard and are usually quite strong. Metals are often used in sports equipment that needs to maintain its form and may come under a certain amount of impact or stress, for example the goal posts in rugby and football are made of metal bases, as are sprinters starting blocks. Ceramics Ceramic materials are usually quite brittle. They are not very often used in sports but can be found in the form of clay in sports such as clay pigeon shooting which requires the clay to explode when shot to indicate a `hit`. Polymers Polymers are usually found in sports in the form of rubber and plastic, these materials have a good degree of flexibility as well as a `memory` - the ability to withstand stress or impact and return to its original size or shape. ...read more.


Early materials were primitive and usually used only because there were no other options available, inflated pigs bladders were first used as footballs because there were no man made fibres at the time, now footballs are leather with some form of plastic coating to help maintain shape. There is now of course greater demand and interest in sports so all the equipment needs to be able to be mass produced and for the companies to make a healthy profit. Factories now reel out thousands of balls, tennis rackets and the like, each day, the demand is huge and in order to make money the materials used in production need to be cheap. This meant that raw materials would no longer suffice, not just because one day the supply of raw materials would run out, but also the equipment made from raw materials didn't last long enough. ...read more.


There is the issue also that some materials that are used today are so manufactured, with so much research and money involved in the development, that when it is released onto the market for the general public it can prove costly for some, therefore pricing some people out of the equation, whilst other more fortunate competitors can afford what the sports companies would have us believe an `edge`. The benefits of these materials can only be discovered by meticulous research by scientists and development teams, materials that would never have been used or even thought of before are forming products that some take for granted. In recent years the technology used in formula one cars has been applied to running shoes, whilst materials such as Carbon Kevlar, used in the manufacturing of tanks has been used in football boots. 1 ...read more.

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