If you’re a disc golfer, you’ve probably wondered what your discs are made of. Are they all the same? What makes them fly the way they do? In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of materials that disc golf discs are made of, and what that means for their performance on the course. Keep reading for more information!
The materials that discs are made of play a big role in their performance. Most discs are made of plastic, but there are also some discs made of other materials like rubber and foam.
Plastic is the most common material for disc golf discs. It’s durable, flexible, and lightweight. This makes it perfect for disc golf because it allows you to throw the disc farther than if it were made out of heavier materials like wood or metal.
Plastic is also what gives discs their color! The different colors are what help distinguish one disc from another, especially when they’re all lying on top of each other in a big pile during tournaments and leagues. Plastic also makes your discs resistant to damage, so you don’t have to worry about them getting cracked or chipped.
There are a few different plastic types that disc golf discs are made of.
Thermoplastic polymer resin: This is the most common one. It’s what regular plastic is made of. This type of plastic is what you find in water bottles and Tupperware containers, for example. It’s lightweight and durable.
Polycarbonate: The most expensive and durable type of plastic. This material is very strong and can withstand a lot of abuse, which is why it’s often used in discs that are meant for advanced players.
Polycarbonate discs are usually more flexible than other types of plastic, so they can flex back into shape after being bent during a throw.
This is what bulletproof glass is made of. It’s very durable and can take a lot of wear and tear, but it’s also a bit heavier than other plastics.
Polypropylene: This is what most beginner discs are made out of. It’s a soft plastic that doesn’t fly as far as some other types, but it’s what most people start with because it’s cheap and easy to use for beginners.
This is what grocery store bags are made of and what garbage cans are lined with. It’s very flexible and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear, but it’s also quite heavy.
Rubber: Often can be seen as the top layer of many beginner discs is made out of. It’s what gives your disc that tacky feel when you squeeze it between two fingers, and it makes sure that your hand doesn’t slip off the disc when you’re throwing a backhand or forehand.
All of these materials have different properties and characteristics, which affect how your discs fly through the air! Each material has pros and cons, so it’s up to what type of player you are (beginner versus advanced) as well what kind of thrower style you prefer (backhand versus forehand).
Unique disc golf plastic types
There are other types of plastics used in disc golf discs, but they’re not as common. Some companies make what’s called a “bioplastic” disc golf disc. This is made from renewable resources, like corn or sugarcane. There are also discs made from recycled materials, like old water bottles.
So what kind of plastic is your disc golf disc made of? It probably depends on what the specific disc brand decided to use. But, in general, most disc golf discs are made of one of the three types of plastics I mentioned above.
A disc manufacturer will begin production of a disc by drawing up the design on paper. Once they have what they want, they will go to test the design in smaller samples to make sure what the designers want is what can be manufactured.
A manufacturer may produce multiple types of discs or just a few frisbees with different flight characteristics. They may also use other more premium plastics depending on the costs and market demand. A manufacturer creating a more extensive lineup might decide to have a huge assortment of styles using a variety of materials mentioned above.
Manufacturers can also create their own name brand with their own lineup of products. However, they will often partner with a brand designer to help with the marketing and sales.
The molds used to make discs are massive and can cost over $100,000. The plastic pellets are heated up in what is called a “hopper.” Once melted, the plastic is then poured into what is called a “cavity.” When the plastic has cooled, what is now an intact disc will be removed from the mold and trimmed of any flashing (excess plastic).
The weight and diameter of a disc are also determined by what the mold looks like. The more intricate the mold, the more expensive it will cost. The weight and diameter are what are called “tolerances” in manufacturing. There are what are called “tolerance bands,” and what this means is that the disc will fall within a certain weight range. The diameter tolerance is +/- .005,” and the weight tolerance is +/- .05 grams.
Disc golfers are some of the most particular people when it comes to disc weights. Discs are weighed on what is called a “gram-scale,” which can be purchased for under $20. A disc golfer will want to find the right weight for their particular throwing style. Heavier discs tend to be more stable in the air, while lighter ones will be more unstable.
A disc mold is made with two halves. One half will have the disc’s “cavity,” and the other half will have what is called a “pin,” which is what the plastic will flow into. Discs are what is called “injection molded,” which means that the plastic is forced into the mold at high pressure. This is what gives discs their characteristic dome.
Molds must be extremely accurate to produce a consistent disc. If the mold is too tight, the discs will be smaller than what is specified, and if it’s too loose, the discs will be bigger. The mold must also have a consistent thickness so that the discs are not too thick or too thin.
Once the mold is completed, what the manufacturers will do is what is called a “first-shot”. This means that they inject plastic into the mold and what comes out is what they call a “first-shot”. These are usually heavier than what should be, but it gives the manufacturer an idea of what the discs will weigh. They will then make adjustments to the mold and do another first shot until they get what they want.
The process of making a disc mold is what the manufacturers will spend most of their time on before going into mass production. Once they have the mold, it will be used to make thousands of discs and the process can be repeated if necessary.
Molds must be extremely accurate to produce a consistent disc. If the mold is too tight, the discs will be smaller than what is specified and if it’s too loose, the discs will be bigger. The mold must also have a consistent thickness so that the discs are not too thick or too thin.
An avid disc golfer would want to play with premium plastic golf discs only. There are infinite discs with poor quality and disc companies will typically benefit from selling basic plastics.
They need to be confident that the golf disc flies in proper form for an extended lifespan. Premium plastics from disc golf companies that make golf discs with raw materials that support a disc’s flight are what you want as a disc golfer.
The best disc golf discs are not just a piece of polypropylene plastic. The average disc golfers will typically play with just polypropylene plastic. Only the best disc golfers experience what it’s like to own a golf disc that is a premium brand in which plastics execute proper form that flies at a high speed when they want it to or at slower speeds with control and ease.
Whether you are a disc golf expert or a golf disc beginner, this informative article should help you understand the plastic types used for manufacturing and how injection molding makes golf discs fly through the air like a bird.