|Online: Tech Talk -- Lane Conditioning|
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|Why must lane conditioner be applied to a bowling lane?|
must always be remembered that the primary purpose for
applying conditioner to a lane is NOT for scoring
it is for protection of the lane surface. If this area is
left unprotected, damage will begin to occur quite
|Should lanes be cleaned prior to application of lane conditioner?|
best results, yes. Applying fresh conditioner to already
dirty conditioner on the lane only creates more dirty
lane conditioner. Dirty lane conditioner can lead to
surface wear. In addition, the consistency of the
conditioner pattern will increase with frequent cleaning.
It is much easier to apply the same pattern on lane after
lane if the lanes are cleaned. (See lane cleaning FAQ)
|What is the best lane conditioner for each lane finish and surface?|
there is no "rule of thumb" as to which
conditioner works well on which finish or surface. There
are many factors that can affect how well a conditioner
performs: quality of the surface or finish, type of water
used, type of conditioning method used, frequency of
cleaning, etc. Most of the time, it all comes down to
trial and error to find the right lane conditioner.
|How often should lanes be conditioned?|
key factors that determine cleaning frequency are lineage
and conditioner migration. The more lineage, the more
conditioner that needs to be applied, possibly even on a
more frequent basis.
Secondly, if conditioner has moved out of the "head" or impact area of the lane, additional conditioner needs to be applied for protection purposes. Conditioner should also be reapplied if it has migrated to or from other parts of the lane and has made the lanes inconsistent or unplayable.
|How far (distance) should conditioner be applied to the lane?|
overall conditioner application distance will vary from
center to center. In general, most finish coated wood
lanes can use a distance of 38 feet as a starting point,
whereas synthetic and film overlays can be anywhere from
40 to 42 feet. (Keep in mind this is the overall
distance of application, and does not suggest keeping
wicks or wick pads on automatic equipment engaged for
this entire distance.)
|Is it OK to mix lane conditioners?|
only lane conditioners that should be mixed or blended
together are those that were designed specifically for
that purpose. Most "blendable" lane
conditioners are of the 100% solids variety (such as DBA
CLEAR). Conditioners that contain solvents should NOT be
|What are the benefits of blending a lane conditioner?|
most cases, blending will alter the viscosity of the
conditioner. There are several reasons a change in the
viscosity may be desired: (1) to reduce or increase
carrydown; (2) to increase or decrease "hold"
in the front portion of the lane due to surface changes
(lane finish wear, etc.)
|What does 100% solids mean?|
designation of 100% solids on lane conditioners (and lane
finish for that matter) means that there are no solvents
in the product that will evaporate into the atmosphere.
In theory this means that the conditioner will not change
its composition once it is applied to the lane.
|What do solvents do in lane conditioners?|
are added for two reasons: first as a flow agent, and
secondly as a cleaning agent. Oil, which is the main
ingredient in lane conditioners, is a thick material and
sometimes needs solvents to "thin" the
conditioners and allow it to move through wick material
in lane equipment. The solvents also assist the
flowability on the lane as a ball passes through
lane conditioner, the conditioner will separate. As long
as the solvents remain present, the conditioner can
actually flow back to its original place.
In its role as a cleaning agent, solvents help to separate the dust and dirt particles that fall on the applied lane conditioner, making it easier for the same dust and dirt to be removed during lane dusting.
The disadvantage to solvents is that they eventually do evaporate. Once that happens, the conditioner begins to change on the lane.
|Why do some solvents in lane conditioners evaporate more quickly than others?|
type of solvent used in a particular lane conditioner,
along with its evaporation time, is a major
consideration in the development of the product. For
example, if a conditioner is designed to carrydown
quickly, a faster evaporating solvent will be used.
|Does humidity affect lane conditioner?|
but only conditioners that contain solvents. In high
humidity situations, the solvents will evaporate slowly,
whereas when lower humidity conditions exist, the
solvents will evaporate rapidly. Once the solvents have
evaporated, the characteristics of the conditioner has
changed that can be good or bad depending on how
the conditioner was designed to work. Some conditioners
are designed with solvents that evaporate quickly so that
rapid carrydown can occur, whereas others are made with
slower evaporating solvents so the conditioner remains
cleaner or stays in place longer
|Does temperature affect lane conditioner?|
viscosity of every lane conditioner can be
affected by temperature. In warm conditions, the
conditioner will thin and flow easier. In cold areas, the
conditioner will become thick and have difficulty flowing
through wick material and onto the lane.
Solvent conditioners are usually affected a great deal more because temperature changes are usually accompanied by a change in humidity which will affect the evaporation rate of the solvent.
|Why are some lane conditioners clear in color, and others are yellow or even dark brown?|
color of the conditioners is determined usually by the
type of base oil used. Conditioners that are clear in
color are usually made from high grade refined oils. Most
conditioners that are brown or dark brown in color are
made from recycled or unrefined oils. These oils are not
pure in grade, and often contain contaminants that can
increase dirt problems on the lane. When an recycled oil
is used to make a lane conditioner, there can also be
consistency problems from one batch to another, which can
in turn lead to inconsistent lane conditions.
|When is the best time of day to apply lane conditioner to the lane?|
general, it is better to condition lanes as close to
bowling time as possible. The reason is that this will
reduce the amount of dust and dirt that fall on the
conditioner after it is applied to the lane surface. Dirt
is the biggest enemy of lane conditioner, and can change
its characteristics a great deal.
Some conditioners, however, require some amount of "set up" time to remain on the surface prior to bowling.
|What is a good starting point for a conditioner pattern profile that will help to reduce conditioner migration from the head (first 10 feet) area of the lane?|
|A good starting point is to apply DOUBLE the units of conditioner in the first 8 to 10 feet of the lane than what is applied at 15 feet. For example, if the tape readings at 15 feet show 20 units of conditioner, then a reading at 8 to 10 feet should show about 40 units. (NOTE: When reading the lane at 8 to 10 feet, it is not necessary to be concerned with the "shape" of the conditioner pattern. In this area of the lane, quantity is more important than the profile.)|
|How can a pattern be applied to the lane that shows double the units of conditioner at 8 to 10 feet than what s applied at 15 feet?|
a DBA EXCEL or DBA PHOENIX is being used, the machine
should be slowed down to low speed on the return trip at
10 feet. If a DBA LaneWalker is used, a second pass out
to 10 feet should be added.
If using other types of lane equipment, it is most likely that an additional "head" run be completed. Consult with the manufacturer for their recommendations.
If conditioning by hand, added spray or towel applications should be done in the "head" area.
DBA Products Company
525 West Laketon Avenue
Muskegon MI 49443 USA
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