Trampolines were first used for training NASA astronauts. They were subsequently used for training purposes for sports as well.
Two men in 1934 from the University of Iowa came up with the trampoline idea. They are Larry Griswold and George Nissen and what a wonderful fun device they came up with! Aside from using them to train astronauts, they were used for sharpening and polishing acrobatic dexterities. Such sports were gymnastics, diving, and freestyle skiing. Olympic trampolining is done today with much enthusiasm. It made its first appearance at Sydney, Australia in the games of 2000 for both women and men. It is today a national fun place for spinning and jumping in backyards and at trampoline centers and training gyms. If you want to check out some cool trampolines for you and your kids, read here.
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Where Do Trampolines Get Its Power?
A trampoline is elevated off the ground or floor and is a floating and resilient network of netting or strong mesh webbing or sacking material usually canvas supported by springs or elastic shock cords. It is surrounded by a metal frame and used as a springboard for jumping and whatever moves you will do. There’s the word, “spring.” That is the power source—for your body doing maneuvers.
An apparatus with a piece of strong and tight fabric stretching over a steel frame is known as a trampoline using numerous coiled springs. If you are interested in trampolining, you will want to know all about trampolines and how they work. The home users jump and bounce on trampolines for amusement, fun, enjoyment and pleasure. This is normally called recreation. Recreational time is optional, flexible, and unrestricted. It seems to be programmed into humans as a component of our psychology and biology.
Back to the fabric. It is referred to by those bouncing on trampolines as no other than the ‘bounce mat.’ This fabric is not elastic like some people think. The bounciness or springiness is delivered by the springs connecting the bounce mat to the steel frame.
The springs have all the potential energy within them. What is potential energy you ask? I’m not a physicist but I think I remember enough about it from seventh grade science. Energy is vigor, liveliness, vitality, power, momentum, and force to name a few things. Therefore, the potential energy is the energy an object has because of its position. Why is it called potential? Because it is possible for the object to change into other types of energy from its stored energy.
Gravitational potential energy is a ball sitting on a table. It gains its energy from its vertical position—watch it fall to the floor—vertically.
Springs will have energy when they are compressed or stretched like in a trampoline. Increasing the stretch, such as a rubber band, increases the amount of stored energy. The springs in a trampoline are elastic and store mechanical energy and they are made of spring steel usually. This is often referring to coil springs and there are many spring designs. Trampolines use coil springs designed for tension.
Materials Used to Build a Trampoline
The elements for making a trampoline are:
- Jumping Mat
- Safety Pads
Here’s how it all goes together:
- Tubing—for the legs and frame are typically made of galvanized steel for strength and durability. Galvanization prevents rust from the elements when it’s sitting outdoors.
- Springs—the power for your bouncing are made to the manufacturer’s specs usually by another company that has expertise and experience with making springs.
- Jumping Mats—are woven textile fibers made of nylon or polyethylene. The WV (virgin wool) fabric that is woven heavily will not fade when the trampoline is outdoors.
- Safety Pads—are made of foam and go over the frame and springs where the pads are covered with vinyl and pipe straps for connecting the pads to the trampoline frame. The pads are subcontracted as well to the manufacturer’s specs.
Credit: How Products are Made Forum
You can buy accessories for your trampoline presented here.
Methods for Manufacturing
Fabrication is the process for building anything that is manufactured, constructed, assembled, and produced.
The tubing usually in 4 pieces are bent into an arc with a bending jig when arriving to the trampoline manufacturing plant. Holes for the springs will be punched into the side with a punching press.
For the U-shaped legs to fit into the trampoline’s frame, sockets are welded to hold them. After they are connected, the 4 pieces are in a round shape and each end of each arc is pressed down to put the pieces together.
The jumping mat fabric is cut to size after it arrives at the plant. Industrial strength sewing machines edge the material. Web straps are sewn on with D-rings sewn into the fabric for holding the frame and mat together.
The safety pads get a vinyl cover and straps around the foam core sewed in as the other materials for more strength and robustness. This gives stability and permanence to the unit.
The springs are sent and need no further process. They are perfect as they are. They will be packed up with the other parts for shipment. The facts about trampolines are everywhere.
For 500 to 600 trampolines 80 employees are needed in an 8-hour shift to make them.
Testing and Quality Control
There are safety and quality requirements that manufacturer’s must follow. The guidelines and requirements state that the manufacturing process be checked at specific times to meet the rules. The bend of the steel frame, thickness, and gauge of the galvanizing are examined. The computerized data is recorded for review by management.
The fabric for the mat is checked for any weaving defects. This is done before it goes to the sewing machines to be stitched. Durability testing is done on the thread for the proper tension. The strength of the thread is an important quality for endurance.
The springs are checked for defects as well. When all components are finally inspected and all is well, they will be packed in a box to ship out.
All about trampolines and how they work is an overview to demystify the basic components and workings and is not meant to be the total knowledge of the workings. Screws, bolts, and nets were not discussed.
Be aware, be safe, and stay out of the rain having fun and excitement jumping and bouncing.