Company shares behind-the-scenes look at how paintballs are made

Paintball is a competitive sport where players shoot dye-filled capsules at each other. The colorful paints that splatter upon contact definitely add a touch of drama to the playful adult game. 

The U.K. company Camouflage Paintball showed how it makes its bright red paintballs on YouTube. It turns out, gelatin — yep, the stuff in Jell-O — is actually the main material used to create paintball shells. 

First, heaps of dry gelatin granules were vacuumed from storage bins into a melter. Once melted into a liquid, a powerful mixer was used to blend the gelatin with cosmetic grade red dye. 

The equipment then produced thin sheets of red gelatin ribbon. Next, a rotating machine pressed two sheets of the gelatin ribbon together to mold it into the shape of the ball. Each of the balls has encapsulated dye and other materials inside. The size and roundness of the paintballs are controlled by the gelatin ribbon’s thickness, tension and the speed of the equipment. 

When the paintballs were released from the machine, they were still too soft for use. The drying process is intended to finish rounding out the balls and making the shells hard. The paintballs were then tumble dried, then left to further harden. Afterward, each batch was tested for hardness, size and shape. Finally, once the paintballs passed quality control, the product was bagged and boxed. 

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If you liked this story, check out this article about the intricate way this toy company makes dolls.

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