Pebax® Rnew, a bio-sourced elastomer produced by Arkema has been selected by Sony for its original soccer ball, named “Join the Team!”, specifically developed for donation to children in Africa.
In many African countries, including Republic of South Africa, where 2010 FIFA World Cup™ will take place and for which Sony is an official sponsor, soccer is often being played in very demanding conditions, which shortens durability of the balls.
Wishing the children to play soccer as long as possible, Sony has leveraged its expertise in material research to make “Join the Team!”, a unique soccer ball built to endure Africa’s rugged terrains, in which Pebax® Rnew is used. This high durability thermoplastic elastomer, is partially made from non-edible renewable resource, castor oil, which contributes to global warming reduction. This ball features a dual layered surface, one of them being in Pebax® Rnew, which brings 1.6 times higher durability than conventional soccer balls.
These footballs will be distributed by NGOs – UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) – during and after the 2010 World Cup. This football donation program is part of a wider project called “Earth FC” which aims to draw the attention of the international community to the major health challenges facing Africa, e.g. the spread of AIDS.
Source: Arkema, press release, 2010-06-08.