Machine Design

Infrared spectrometer tests bowling pins

The United States Bowling Congress seems intent on removing excuses for throwing another gutter ball.

The organization has begun measuring and identifying the chemical structure of sample bowling-pin materials with a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer, an optical instrument with a computer interface.

The three tested materials — the outer clear coat, pin coating, and base material — must maintain at least a 98% correlation to the original samples for the pin to be acceptable for USBC competition. In addition to bowling pins, the infrared technology could assist the USBC in testing bowling-ball cover stocks, lane surfaces, oils, and cleaners.

The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer tests tiny samples of bowling-pin materials.

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