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Eco Friendly Ammunition, Paintball - What It's Made Of
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Eco Friendly Ammunition, Paintball  -  What It\'s Made Of

Have you ever wondered what paintballs are actually made of? If you have, you might be surprise to find out what ingredients go into the making of the colorful ammunition which gives the sport its name.

Paintball is made entirely out of non toxic ingredients; gelatin, water, sweetener and other edible ingredients. The exact recipe and formulae for these colorful rounds that bring so much joy to all is apparently a secret, but the ingredients are safe and toxin free.

For the shell of the paintball water is first boiled. Then the key ingredients gets added to the boiling water, gelatin! That's right, the stuff that is used to make a child's favorite play food.

Jello ball, anyone?

The mixture gets boiled for half an hour or so. Once this goo is fully melted it gets transferred to a heated vat. The gelatin mixture is then strained to catch and filter out any glob of gelatin that has not fully melted.

Once this goo of fun is ready the next stage of the process is blending it all with a giant blender, soon some food dye gets poured in, this is what gives the paintball its color. See, toxin free! Aren't we just a bunch of nice eco-friendly sportsmen?

The coloring of the fill is also done in a similar way as the shell of the paint ball. The fill is composed of polyethylene glycol. Yup, the same stuff that makes up the liquid in cough syrup. This gets thickened to a more standard paintball consistency by adding crayon wax.

All this does not make a paintball yet. To get it further along on its road of glory to becoming a paintball, the fill needs to be inserted inside the shell. This process takes place in what they call the feed room. Here vats of gel and the fill go into the encapsulation machine.

The machine will first spread out the gel on a cool drum. This makes it into a wide continuous ribbon like spread called the gel ribbon. Sort of like what one would see in a newspaper printing factory where all the rolls of newspaper are going through the giant machines before it is cut and folded. This process also serves to cools the gel so that it will be able to get molded into a hollow shell of the paintball.

A machine presses the cooled down gel into a die with half circle molds. Each forms half of the paintball shell. Next it injects the hollow shells with the colored "cough syrup" and seals the two halves of the shells together simultaneously.

This is not quite done yet as it is still too soft to do any good. In order to harden the balls, it is rolled into a giant tumble dryer. After the tumble dryer it goes into a bakery styled rack to complete the drying process. This completes the journey from water, gelatin, crayon wax and cough syrup to the ammunition that we use to splatter each other with - paintballs. Ah, the beauty of it all!

This sport, while only invented 20 years ago, has caught on in over 50 countries worldwide. Amazing, isn't it?

I hope this bit of information on paintball was a help and that during your next paintball battle you will be able to share this bit of fun fact with your opponents while you spray them with cough syrup.


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