MVP Lab Report – November 2020
Why move the glow into the center core instead of remaining in the overmold?
With Eclipse 1.0, we first chose to locate the glow in the overmold for a number of reasons. In particular, we really liked the idea of the glowing overmold “ring” appearance at night. Also, this gave us the ability to offer a wide array of core color options. We still do like those benefits, but we were driven by other more important factors to consider moving it into the center core.
The Eclipse 1.0 overmold not only bears the glow concentrate, but it also contains our high density weight fillers which are in all of our overmold discs. The filler is dense, opaque, and has a fine granular form. During injection molding, the glow concentrate and weight filler are evenly dispersed into the molten plastic when injection molded. As a result, the weight filler acts as a physical barrier for the glow to attempt shining through. This results in the emitted light being blocked and muted quite significantly by the filler. Even if we chose to use the new 2.0 compound in the overmold, the weight filler will still diminish the maximum potential of glow effect. It would be brighter than we already have, but we want the absolute best.
In order to create the brightest glow possible, we have to isolate the weight fillers and glow concentrate. The two options were to either move the weight filler to the center core, or move the glow concentrate to the center core.
It makes the most sense to move the glow concentrate to the center core. There are two primary reasons to choose this configuration. Firstly, the center core has a larger surface area, which adds to the total overall light emission surface area for more visibility. And second, the weight filler will remain in the overmold to help optimize the gyroscopic potential.
How does glow in the overmold vs center core affect gyroscopics?
Our weight filler remaining in the overmold will help maintain most of the gyroscopic angular momentum. However, glow concentrate is still a fair bit more dense than the primary plastic used in our premium polymers. It’s not as dense as the overmold weight filler, but it’s still more dense than the plastic itself. So this does mean that we will be shifting a good margin of weight to the center of the disc. This means that, with the weight filler in the rim and the glow concentrate in the core, the overall density of the rim and core are close to equal.
In short, the gyroscopics of an Eclipse 2.0 overmold disc shifted its weight distribution somewhat closer to a solo-mold – with near uniform polymer density between the core and overmold.
Relatedly, this partially shifted weight into the center core results in actually the opposite of what happens with Fission plastic, gyroscopically speaking. Fission is our developed way to remove weight from the core. This allows for additional weight filler to be added to the overmold. This is only keeping in mind the weight distribution differences affecting gyroscopics; it is not taking into consideration the subtle aerodynamic attributes of each plastic type. Fission has slightly different geometry affecting aerodynamics due to having different processing conditions and shrinkage rates. I will cover a little more on this further below.
How does glow vs non glow affect the gyroscopics on a solo-mold?
A solo-mold, due to its one piece construction, is composed of an entirely uniform polymer density. Without glow concentrate, the polymer itself is modified to be more or less dense to achieve weight ranges. This density range is evenly dispersed throughout the entire disc.
So when we want glow solo-molds, we simply allow the glow concentrate to act as the primary modifier of density to achieve weight ranges. Meanwhile, the plastic density becomes the secondary density modifier. Since this glow concentrate addition is also uniformly dispersed, the gyroscopic angular momentum is proportionally the same as a non-glow disc of the same weight.
Does glow affect the geometric shape and aerodynamics of overmold discs?
In order to answer this, I have to break down what plastic is at its most basic level. Additionally, I’ll need to dive into what happens when you introduce glow concentrate into the plastic.
Plastic, in it’s very extremely simplified form, is polymer chains held together by synthetic compounds acting as a “glue” to keep its shape. Polymers are much more complex than this, but let’s keep it at this simple analogy for now.
When you inject plastic into a mold, it is subjected to extreme heat and pressure to temporarily melt the “glue” holding the polymer chains together – allowing it to become molten and forced into the mold. The injected plastic takes the shape of the mold, which your disc design dictates.
However, the mold is cooled constantly with flowing water channels, as well as the ambient air cooling the disc once removed from the mold. When cooling both inside and outside of the mold, the disc will shrink as the heat is removed and the “glue” continues to cool and cure to its final form. This shrinkage is expected, and you compensate for this by your mold design.
Glow concentrate in its raw form is a powder. When you introduce glow concentrate into the mix, you now have polymer chains, synthetic “glue,” and glow concentrate powder as a third component that are all evenly dispersed in the melt flow. For the case of Eclipse 2.0, this is all located in the center core. When the plastic is molten, the glow concentrate still remains in its solid state as a powder and is evenly mixed into the molten plastic. As the disc cools, this glow concentrate powder acts as many tiny physical barriers for the polymer chains and “glue” to shrink around. This means the center core of the disc is not going to experience the same level of shrinkage as a center core with no glow such as Proton, Neutron, Plasma etc.
So what happens now? With less shrinkage occurring, the result is a slightly reduced shoulder/dome height. Also, a slightly higher parting line height.
These changes are subtle but certainly measurable. Additionally, the difference between putters will be less drastic compared to drivers. Midranges naturally fall closer to the middle of this shrinkage rate difference. These differences between putters/midranges/drivers are due to the sensitive nature of aerodynamics with sharper beveled edges. Generally, the faster the speed, the sharper the nose. This amplifies the sensitivity to stability changes with parting line heights. There are some exceptions due to some discs of the same speed class having sharper or blunter nose geometries, but it’s a good basis to go by.
What about Eclipse 1.0 with the glow in the overmold? Since the glow concentrate was not in the center core, the center cores were in fact the exact same as their traditional counterparts. The center core, having most of the aerodynamic surfaces, primarily dictates how it will fly. The inner rim, shoulder, and dome were identical. Also, the center core geometry generally determines what the parting line height will be as the overmold is attached to the core in the final stages of manufacturing. This means the same core being used in both non-glow and Eclipse 1.0 have nearly the same parting line height. So, for example, a Proton Eclipse 1.0 Crave flew nearly the same as a regular Proton Crave due to having the exact same core composition.
So, aerodynamically speaking, Eclipse 2.0 will have a subtle difference. The slightly lower shoulder/dome will reduce a little bit of glide. And the slight increase in parting line height will slightly increase the overstability.
Will this flight difference be major? Not for all models, but it will certainly be noticeable depending on if it’s a putter/midrange/driver, your skill level, throwing power, and form. These are important things to consider when selecting glow models for your bag.
Does glow affect the geometric shape and aerodynamics of solo-mold discs?
A solo-mold has the same physical shrinkage properties experienced with the center core of an overmold disc. Since Eclipse 1.0 did not have quite as much glow concentrate, this effect was not quite as noticeable. But now, Eclipse 2.0 in solo-molds will have a similar result as Eclipse 2.0 MVP/Axiom models with a subtle reduction in shoulder/dome height, and a slight increase in parting line height.
This means the same can be said for both solo-mold and overmold when it comes to Eclipse 2.0 flight differences. It may not be a significant difference to many, but it could be enough to want to throw and learn your glow plastic flights accurately.
Wait a second! Overmold discs in Eclipse 2.0 are less gyroscopic and aerodynamically more overstable?
The combination of these two subtle physical property changes of aerodynamics and gyroscopics almost seem to apply themselves in opposite directions in terms of disc flight. These two aspects combined is what made me fascinated to break down the physics and talk about it with you. The slightly increased aerodynamic overstability, combined with the subtly reduced gyroscopic level that Eclipse 2.0 brings to overmolded discs, is a truly unique phenomenon in our disc lineup.
In the most basic breakdown, the flights of Eclipse 2.0 overmold discs will have a little bit more fade at low speeds from the aerodynamic profile and reduced angular momentum. At very high speeds, however, they might also have a little bit more turn at higher power levels due to lacking the maximum level of gyroscopic angular momentum of a full weighted rim. This turn will only be noticed at very high speeds due to the slightly increased parting line height combating the reduced gyroscopics. So not everyone will experience this little bit of extra turn early in flight due to needing higher power levels to see it. Of course, in addition to power level, the amount of these flight differences will also greatly depend on your nose angle and form.
This uniquely paired combination of flight physics in a disc golf disc has never been experienced before. I know for a fact that this is going to give our MVP/Axiom lineups new flight profiles and lines, granting a wider array of line shaping possibilities that otherwise were not possible before. I’m excited for this because I know when you have availability to more consistent high quality tools with unique flight properties, this will give anyone an advantage who pursues to learn these new tools. Oh, and let’s not forget the amazing ability to truly use glow plastic at night without worry of losing them.
Does Eclipse 2.0 affect the feel of the plastic?
Absolutely, yes. When we finalized the formulation and conducted trialing of the prototypes, we noticed that the surface grip and feel was slightly impacted. The glow compounds are at such a high concentration that the individual particles are affecting the surface finish. If you look closely with the right lighting, you can see the surface is covered in micro textures of the glow particles. We do find that this does provide a unique grip and feel to Eclipse 2.0 compared to standard Proton. With our internal testing, it’s a unanimous agreement that it feels great. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks about this.
New glow, new stamp, new foil
Our awesome graphic artist team helped clean up the artwork for Eclipse 2.0’s fresh debut. Meanwhile, we also are now using silver hot stamp foil as the new standard, as compared to our previous white foil.
How do I maximize the brightness of Eclipse 2.0?
In order to utilize the brightest potential in Eclipse 2.0, it is very important to use a UV light source, such as UV flashlights. Also make sure that you have fresh batteries in your UV light source. It’s not so easy to tell when your UV flashlight has low batteries, so double check that periodically over time. It’s possible you could be missing out on the maximum glow brightness because your light source is not ideal. More UV light energy into your Eclipse 2.0 plastic will result in more energy absorbed and released as visible glow light emission.
What models will we see in Eclipse 2.0?
We certainly plan to launch Eclipse 2.0 in a wide array of MVP/Axiom/Streamline models. We know how important it is to have a healthy selection of glow models to fill an entire bag for a glow round. I know I am looking forward to building an entire separate bag lineup dedicated for glow rounds.
However, it really would be unsustainable to launch Eclipse 2.0 in ALL models of our lineup. Just like we choose the best combination of models with our other plastics, we will do the same with Eclipse 2.0.
Something else we are still determining is what maximum distance driver speeds will be even possible to achieve in Eclipse 2.0. Since our glow concentrate is adding significant weight overall, it may reduce some of the overall speed of higher speed distance drivers due to the larger volumes associated with them. Although, we are confident that we will be able to build out a great lineup covering putters, midranges, fairways, and distance drivers.
This concludes everything I wanted to talk about with Eclipse 2.0 as we roll out with the first debut in the Reactor and Nano. We are extremely pleased to have our extensive efforts come together to create the highest performing glow on the market. You will not be disappointed when you experience the glow level we have achieved in person. Those who have the prototypes have already shared some of their experiences. Meanwhile, photos and videos are very challenging to capture the luminous phenomena at hand. Our marketing team has been enjoying this tricky task when capturing accurate representation of high brightness glow discs in our product photos. We feel this is a good problem to have.
We won’t stop here in continuing to find new ways to improve glow brightness levels even beyond this. Our goal is to continuously drive for higher performance wherever possible.
Pair this with our recent efforts to bring in additional molding machines and auxiliary equipment to further expand our precision disc manufacturing capabilities, the future is continuing to look “bright!”