Image Number 5 for United States Patent #6726582.
A panel that is used in forming the panel portions of recreational sport balls, and methods for the production thereof, are provided. The panels may be affixed to an inflatable bladder and include a base layer of polymeric material and a covering layer bonded thereto. The base layer may be bonded to a substrate layer of nonwoven cloth. The covering layer includes at least one conditioning agent that is either a water repellant agent to reduce water and sweat absorption, or an antistatic agent to repel dirt and dust, but may include both agents. The conditioning agent(s) may penetrate into the outer surface of the base layer to form the covering layer bonded thereto. Alternatively, the base layer may resist penetration by the conditioning agent(s) such that the covering layer is bonded to the surface of the base layer. The covering layer may further include an anti-bacterial agent.