Sometimes during a match, a perfect long shot on a snooker table might get diverted.Have you ever wondered why? And why after cleaning the table you need to iron it? You might also be thinking, how is it relevant to the main topic?
Let’s talk about the reason why snooker tables have to suffer from the heat.
A snooker table is heated to keep the surface cloth dry. Thus, it reduces the friction on the table surface, making the play faster and more consistent throughout the match. If the table is not heated above the room temperature, it will get cold and damp, causing an uneven surface. Thus, making the shot and the play inconsistent.
Let’s explain this further in detail.
What is the reason for heating snooker tables?
As I have mentioned above, that snooker tables are heated to reduce the friction on the table. Otherwise, the table would be cold and slightly damped to play on.
Now, the roughness on the surface is minor (not visible to naked eyes), but a slight bump can cause the ball to deviate at an angle which can eventually disrupt your shot.
The heating of the table makes it warm and causes the deposited moisture on the surface to evaporate.A hot and dehydrated snooker table provides a consistent and fast play, helping with the ‘run of the ball’ (When a player can hit the desired shot without any difficulty).
If the match is not consistent throughout the tournament, the players might have to make regular adjustments to their game depending on many factors like humidity level. The humidity level also depends on the number of people present in the room.
As mentioned, if a snooker table is not heated, then it might adjust to the changing temperature, which can cause minor contractions in the cloth.
Now after clarifying why a snooker table is heated? You might ask what should be the ideal temperature?
What should be the snooker table temperature?
If you are professional watcher, you might have noticed a digital display at the bottom of the table. This number displayed refers to the temperature at which the snooker table heats up. Usually, it is around 45C or 50C.
But why at this temperature?
I would say because of the thickened slates (The material used in making the playing surface of a snooker table) on snooker tables. As the heating system is installed under the slates, the temperature measured on the surface is much less.
45C – 50C is hot enough to pass the heat through the slates to the surface at approximately 20C – 30C.
This heating process takes place with the help of a few methods.
How are snooker tables heated?
The use of table heater systems mounted under the slates ensures the table is kept warm and dry.
Commercial heating systems consume over 500 watts of power. Sections of plywood form closed chambers when mounted under the slates. In between these space ‘Heating wire’ or ‘Heating film’ is placed on insulators.
A thermostat controls the power that means it regulates the heat, keeping the slates temperature above the room.
But what if the snooker table does not have a heating system?
How to iron a snooker table?
You need to iron the snooker table, after cleaning it. One can find it online at eBay or Amazon.
These table irons can be used to keep the snooker in optimum condition. It has a thermostat to control the heat. The temperature for the table iron should not be too high as it can burn the cloth.
Snooker table iron is quite heavy, which provides a firm pressure holding the cloth smooth and pressed. Also, watch out for any tramlines on the cloth (Hint: Turn the iron to a slight angle).
The power consumed by these types of equipment is relatively high, so you need to take precautions while using them.
To get a complete idea on this topic, you need to understand a few basics. I can not cover everything here. The physics is just that heating a snooker table keeps the surface smooth and playable.
For more articles like this, Snooker Box is the place.