Q:

What gas is in a ping-pong ball?

A:

Quick Answer

The inside of a ping-pong ball is a hollow structure that is filled with normal air. Many people think ping-pong balls are filled with flammable gas because they can burn quite dramatically when ignited, but this is a product of the ball's chemical composition, not the ball's contents.

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Full Answer

Ping-pong balls are generally made of celluloid, which is a highly flammable material. In the past, ping-pong balls were often made of acidified cellulose, a material that gradually becomes less stable over time. Older ping-pong balls sometimes spontaneously ignited when exposed to friction or a slight spark, giving rise to the myth that ping-pong balls contain an explosive gas.

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