Intense Contour Engineering Sanding Technique
Surface roughness of a bowling ball continues to be one of a few main factors in affecting overall ball motion. Surface characteristics and roughness can be achieved either by coverstock chemistry changes that alter the chemical surface roughness of the bowling ball or by mechanical sanding techniques. Both types of surface roughness alterations have been statistically analyzed and demonstrate the ability to change the path of the bowling ball as it rolls towards the pins. 900 Global introduced a unique mechanical method (NEAT) of altering and maximizing surface roughness characteristics without sacrificing the visual aesthetics of the bowling ball in 2011. After an additional 6 years of extensive and continued R&D, 900 Global is taking the next leap in surface preparation and sanding techniques by introducing “ICE”.
“ICE” is a method of Intense Contour Engineering that offers enhanced user friendly traits compared with the previous NEAT pads. A magnified 3-dimensional view of the “ICE” product is seen below in Figure 1 compared with other sanding pads that are traditionally used within the bowling industry. “ICE” maintains the controlled peaks and valleys with uniform spacing just as “NEAT”. The mono-layered micron-graded grain yields consistent cut rates while the improved mesh backing ensures debris does not get trapped between the grit placements. The specific grain is also electrostatically coated to orientate the sharpest point toward the cutting surface in order to optimize the cutting process and resulting surface. Product testing indicates that “ICE” offers increased cut rates that are essentially comparable with the former “NEAT” technology and data analysis has proven “ICE” pads to be over 5x’s longer lasting than competing brands on the market.
Comparison ICE vs Conventional
Magnified 3-D View of “ICE” vs. Conventional Bowling Sanding Abrasives
Technically speaking, Surface Roughness (Ra) was one of two roughness variables analyzed in the 2007-2008 USBC ball motion study (found on the Equipment Specification webpage of (www.bowl.com). The past study showed that increases in Ra led to increased overall ball motion traits. As a review, Ra measures on average how deep or high (vertical) the microscopic “pores” and “spikes” are on the surface of the bowling ball. It is a measured surface roughness variable that USBC has limited by setting a manufacturing specification that refrains the coverstock chemistry from creating a structure that exceeds a roughness of 50 u-in. A graphical and mathematical representation of Ra is shown below in Figure 2.
Surface Roughness Ra Visual Representation
As in the previous “NEAT” sanding process, the “ICE” system was developed to maximize and optimize the Ra values for each specific grit level without sacrificing the aesthetic visual appeal of the bowling ball surface. “ICE” is able to measure at high Ra values (ie – a rough surface) but still visually appear to have a sustainable and desired shelf appeal by appearing smoother and glossy. The “ICE” sanding process has 3 unique engineered pads. Without sacrificing visual appearance, the pads work to maximize the potential peaks and valleys of the bowling ball surface and allow for a rougher surface contacting the lane compared with competing abrasive products. Figure 3 below shows each of the “ICE” pads.
Figure 3: “ICE” Sanding Pads
Three distinct surfaces can be created using a series of steps. The “I” surface uses the roughest pad (Blue -1500 grit), “C” surface uses the next pad (Magenta – 2000 grit), “E” surface uses the smoothest pad (Green – 3000 grit). The sequence of steps for each surface is listed below and represents how each surface is prepared during manufacturing.
“I” = 60u 3M Trizact + 40u 3M Trizact + 20u 3M Trizact + “I” Blue
“C” = 50u 3M Trizact + 30u 3M Trizact + 20u 3M Trizact +5u 3M Trizact + “C” Magenta
“E” = 60u 3M Trizact + 30u 3M Trizact + 20u 3M Trizact +5u 3M Trizact + “E” Green
** u = micron **
** 60u ~ = 220 grit; 50u ~ = 240 grit; 40u ~ = 280 grit; 30u ~ = 340 grit; 20u ~ = 500 grit;
10u ~ = 1000 grit; 5u ~ = 1500 to 2000 grit **
When applied correctly, these surface preparations optimize the “peaks/spikes”, “valley/cavities” by manipulating Ra. The surface treatment also instills a higher grade appearance than data suggests, just as “NEAT”. Below in Figure 4 is a comparison of the “ICE” finish vs. “NEAT” vs. Polished.
*1 u-in~0.20″ of “Total Hook” (USBC Data)*
Figure 4: “ICE” & “NEAT” Surface Roughness Data
The analysis of the data indicates that the surface roughness Ra created by “ICE” pads is actually rougher than it appears aesthetically. For example, the “E” surface visually appears like a medium compound/light polish has been applied to the ball, as is the case with the NEAT – T surface for enhanced shelf appeal. In actuality the surface roughness Ra is ~ the same as a NEAT –T and is hence rougher than the compound/polish visual look that is has.
In conclusion, “ICE” sanding pads work to manipulate the surface roughness to maximize bowling ball motion and performance. The pads yield greater surface consistency across the bowling ball and give an enhanced visual aesthetic appeal despite maintaining a rougher surface profile. Product life is comparable to the previous “NEAT” pads which is significantly greater than competing abrasives on the market. If there are any subsequent questions regarding the “ICE” process please contact 900 Global.
Intense Contour Engineering Sanding Technique