Leverkusen, Germany -- Soccer fans across Europe are looking forward once more to watching games during this summer's European football championship during June.
And the national teams may play better than ever, since they will be using a new ball claimed to offer greater precision of control.
This exact control results from the fact that the ball, the Tango 12, is rounder than usual, with a highly complex surface construction. Its design is the culmination of a long-standing collaboration between adidas and Bayer MaterialScience.
A special feature of this latest ball is the surface texture, which offers interesting optical and haptic effects -- and is also responsible for the particularly good flight properties of the ball, said BMS, in a 17 May press statement.
adidas also aimed to make the ball even rounder and ensure it retained its appearance.
Tango has fewer cut edges and greater curvature, so it has fewer seams and edges in the outer shell. As a result, players are more likely to strike smooth surfaces allowing them to "control the ball with greater precision," BMS says.
Measurements at sixteen different points have shown no more than one percent deviation between the largest and smallest diameters.
"The outer shell of the Tango 12 consists of a total of five polyurethane layers based on raw materials from our Impranil product line," said Thomas Michaelis, project manager for ball development at Bayer MaterialScience, in a company statement.
"These layers provide for optimal contact with the player's foot and for very good control in all weather conditions."
The innermost layer is an adhesion coating that connects the textile substrate to the layers above.
On top of this is a syntactic foam layer, roughly 1mm thick, made up of millions of gas-filled cells. This layer helps the ball to regains its spherical shape rapidly after being kicked, ensuring optimal flight.
The ball is finished off with three compact PU layers of various thicknesses. They make the surface highly resistant to external factors and abrasion, but also highly elastic, ensuring it retains its appearance over the long term.
Individual panels of the ball shell are bonded together using patented Thermal Bonding Technology so that essentially it absorbs no moisture. As a result, the ball's weight rises no more than 0.1 percent, even in heavy rain and is almost completely waterproof.
A raw material development from Bayer MaterialScience is used here, too -- the thermoactivated adhesive is based on a waterborne polyurethane dispersion.