A ball is a round object, usually spherical, and it has a variety of uses. It is used in ball games such as soccer, ping pong, and four square, and is a vital part of many different sports. Here’s a quick history of the word “ball.”
Ball clays are sedimentary in origin. Ancient streams washed kaolinite from the parent rock and mixed it with other clay minerals, sands, and vegetation. After settling in low-lying basins, the ball clays were formed. Ball clays typically consist of three dominant minerals, and other ‘accessory’ minerals, including carbonaceous material. The mineral compositions and sizes of individual clay particles vary widely.
The first process used to create balls is the hot or cold forming operation. A wire is fed into a metal-based machine with a hemisphere-shaped cavity. The machine closes tightly, forcing the wire to form a ball. Once shaped, the balls emerge from the machine with a ring of metal. The balls are then rolled between heavy steel plates to finish their formation. The final product looks like planet Saturn!
Ball valves come in manual and automatic versions. Manual versions have a stem that connects the ball to an external control mechanism. Automatic versions use electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic actuation. Depending on the configuration, a ball valve may have one or several ports. The single-port ball valve is usually the most common type, but some models may have two or more ports. A multi-port ball valve is used in applications where there are several media sources and multiple ports.
Plastic ball bearings typically use unhardened stainless balls. Stainless balls resist saltwater and alkalis, and they are cheaper than glass. However, plastic balls may have a limited load capacity. They are not as durable as glass balls, so hardening the ball is an option for plastic ball bearings. Some manufacturers also use glass balls, which are more durable. These materials are also spherical. If the size of the ball is lower than one millimeter, it may be made of plastic.
The ball has many names. Some of these include the English Puritan divine John Ball and the astronomer Thomas Ball. The eldest of seventeen children, William Ball was a founding member of the Royal Society and was the oldest of his siblings. His father, Sir Peter Ball, was the recorder of Exeter and attorney-general of the queen in the reigns of Charles II and Charles. And a ball can also mean a ring, a tiara, or a pin.
Another game of soccer requires nimble hands and feet. For this game, two teams compete with a large beach ball or an oversized exercise ball. The players must use their feet to move the ball and are only permitted to use their hands to catch the ball if it is outside the boundary. This is a game for all ages, so don’t limit it to children’s parties. They will love it and learn a lot at the same time!