Tennis ball cans are always packed with a lot of protective gear. We all wonder why it needs so many layers of coverage. I mean, there is a removable metal lid, then the plastic lid. All of these layers are given to seal the pressure that is inside the can. Tennis ball cans are pressurized so that they perform better.
Every tennis ball has a certain amount of gas inside which the manufacturers seal within the cans. This is why you hear a sound when you open the can. New tennis balls have around 14 psi pressure. This is so that the ball retains the new ball feel.
The pressure maintains the shelf life of the ball. The ball remains the same as the day it was manufactured and the day it was opened because of this reason.
Once the can is opened, the pressure starts to release. The balls are recommended to use for around 9 to 10 games. After that time, the ball starts to lose the interior pressure. It doesn’t bounce properly. The internal pressure becomes equal to the natural air pressure.
The bounce is extremely important for tennis balls. The tennis balls are designed in such a way that they increase the quality and competitiveness of the game. This is why pressure inside the cans is so important.
In many tournaments, the tennis ball cans are refrigerated to keep the pressure unaffected. The high temperature often causes the tennis balls to lose pressure. This is because the high temperature causes the rubber molecules to displace.
There are also pressure-less balls. They are made of thicker and harder rubber. The pressure-less balls are used for practice. In these pressure-less balls, the bounce doesn’t easily go away.
They are heavier so they are not used in competitive matches as they can cause injury. Standard balls are more bouncy and give more spin compared to pressure. They also travel much faster.
The pressure-less balls appear dead from the beginning. They get softened over time as the fabric cover of the ball starts to wear off. The ball becomes bouncy with time, unlike the pressurized balls which are bouncy from the start.
Since the pressureless balls are heavier, the racket needs to be struck with more force. This increases the chance of injury. Another factor about the pressure-less balls is that even though their bouncing feature increases, their spin feature decreases over time.
There are around 200 tennis ball brands. They are approved by the International Tennis Federation. They go through a testing procedure and then get approved. We are going to discuss some tests the tennis balls go through.
Table of Contents
Tests Tennis Balls Has To Go Through
The balls go through an acclimatization test for 24 hours. The main focus for this is to get the temperature of the balls at 60% humidity. The high temperature increases the bound height of the ball and also the moisture content. So, they are tested in strict lab conditions.
There is a pre-composition test in which the ball is compressed three times in three directions. This shakes the ball from the set condition.
In the tennis ball mass test, the ball is weighted so that they are in the range of 56g to 59.4g.
There is a size test that has been followed for decades. In this test, the tennis ball is passed through two tubes. They are passed through different angles by rotating the balls until they get the acceptable diameter which is 65.4 mm to 68.6 mm
In this test, the ball is compressed through a compression machine. The ball is compressed with a force of 80.07n. The machine also detects deformity in a ball.
This test measures the bounce of the ball. This test has been in use since 1925. They drop the ball from a height of 2.54 meters. They count the rebound.
his is a relatively new test. The test includes an abrasion box where the tennis ball is tested for wear of cloth. They are set to simulate for nine games. There are two parts to this test. The first part tests the surface without abrasion. The second part introduces more balls into the abrasion ball.
Why Regular Tennis Balls Have Better Bounce?
Tennis balls have better bounce because the air inside the ball pushes outside with more force than when it hits the surface. The pressure inside the ball gives it the strength to bounce back more strongly.
The tennis ball comes in an air-tight can which provides the same level of pressure inside as it is outside so it can balance out. Thus, the balls retain the pressure and the bounce that comes with them.
What Happens to a Tennis Ball After It Has Lost Its Bounce?
The tennis balls start to lose pressure inside and thus decreasing bounce. But they can still be used. They are used in the training program. They are also used to warm up the strokes for playing mini-tennis. You can squeeze the tennis ball. Repeat this to improve hand strength and hand grip.
How Long Can a Tennis Ball Be Stored?
The shelf life of a tennis ball can is around six months. It depends on the brand. Many people have claimed the shelf life to many years. The ball is said to be completely fine.
Pressure in a tennis ball is extremely important. They determine the shelf life, the quality of the ball, and even have a significant amount of impact in the game. The manufacture of the tennis ball determines the proper pressure level inside and outside the tennis ball.
The cans are sealed properly so the pressure doesn’t escape. We have discussed all the reasons and advantages of pressurized cans above. We hope it gave you some insight into why tennis ball cans are pressurized.
Read More: Best Tennis Video Games of All Time (Ranked)
My name is Reagen and I started AllTennisGear (earlier AllTennisShoes) as a way to share my humble experience and help new Tennis players. Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day here and know that your feedback is always welcome.