• How Long Does Synthetic Ice Last?
    Sports

    How Long Does Synthetic Ice Last?

    Millions of ice skaters and hockey players alike are turning towards synthetic ice so that they can install a great hockey flooring in their own homes and can practice without having to travel to crowded rinks. Because of this newfound interest, there are many questions behind synthetic ice and how effective it really is. If you are looking for answers, keep reading you might find a few that will help you choose if synthetic ice is right for you.

    What is Synthetic Ice Made From?

    In the earlier years of the 1960s, synthetic ice made its way into the public eye. Developers wanted to create the type of ice flooring that would mimic real ice and allow ice skaters to freely glide across the surface as if they were skating on real ice. The first trials of synthetic ice turned out to be cumbersome and difficult. In order for skaters to skate on the early synthetic ice, there had to be a constant supply of lubricant sprayed or poured onto the surface. Even with the lubricant, the flooring was not easy to skate across because there was a lot of resistance from the blades of the skates to the plastic.

    Polymers

    A polymer can be a naturally occurring chain of molecules or man-made as in polymer plastics. One of the biggest problems with polymer plastics is that they are very hard to recycle and will not break down and become compost over time. One of the things about synthetic ice is that it is made out of the type of plastic that won’t decompose or wear down even after a very long time. If the synthetic ice is crafted in a way that can handle the abuse of continual ice skating, it will last a very long time. The good thing is that many hockey training aids are made out of the same long-lasting and durable plastic.

    Early Synthetic Ice

    The first synthetic ice was made from polyoxymethylene plastic, a type of plastic that was first developed in the 1950s. This was a strong and durable plastic, but not ideal for providing a smooth and easy place to skate on. Over the next twenty years, plastics evolved into lighter, longer-lasting products that had the capacity to give skaters a better environment to skate on.

    The Quality of the Product

    In the grand scheme of things, ultimately what will be the deciding factor about how long synthetic ice will last is how well it was built. Plastic, polymers, in particular, were created to last tens of thousands of years. If the synthetic ice that you purchased was made with high-quality plastic and other ingredients, it can last for a very long time. Sniper’s Edge Hockey Products produce a super high-quality synthetic ice product that lasts for a lifetime. With regular use, a high-quality ice panel can last upwards of fifteen years, after which they can be turned over to use the other side for an additional ten plus years. This is potentially over 25 years of great quality synthetic ice. For lower-quality synthetic ice that can’t be turned over, you can expect a much less lifetime.

    Conclusion

    It is clear that the material that synthetic ice is made from will last a couple of thousand years or so. However, when you lay down flooring that will be used and abused continually by sharp and hard metal ice skate blades, the situation becomes a little different. If you were to try and treat your linoleum floor in the kitchen with the same kind of aggression it may only last a week or two. However, synthetic ice panels are made to withstand all kinds of wear and tear for many years. If you are thinning about installing some ice panels so you can skate at home, the investment might be worth it.

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    Sports

    Why Synthetic Ice Works So Well

    Synthetic ice was developed in the 1960s by a team of people that wanted to change the world. They believed that if there was a will there was a way. Ice skates could glide across the surface of an ice rink without any problems and seem to flow across the flooring with the ease of a bird flying gracefully low to the ground. There just had to be a way to mimic the process.

    Slow Beginnings

    At first, when the developers joined together to create the artificial ice there were many obstacles. The first type of synthetic ice flooring that came out was made of special plastic, (in those days) that would allow for a lubricant to be poured over the top of it intermittently as the skaters used it. The skaters had a bit of a rough time gliding seamlessly across the flooring like they could on ice because the plastic was less than smooth and needed to have constant lubricants added to it. As time progressed, and technology began to expand, developers slowly worked out the kinds and were able to create an amazing type of flooring that allows people to skate across it almost as if they were on ice.

    Skating on Ice

    The reason why ice skaters are able to skate so gracefully across the rink’s surface is because of the way that the metal ice skating blades interact with the ice itself. As the skater builds momentum and moves forward across the ice, the blades against the ice cause friction. Just like anything else that rubs together it causes heat. This heat slightly melts the ice as the blades cut through it causing a type of lubrication that allows the skater to freely slide and glide across the ice. Although scientists figure this out many years ago, they struggled to find a way to mimic the way the ice melted and caused its own lubricant.

    Skating on Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice flooring is about the best thing you can get in comparison to real ice. Sniper’s Edge Hockey offers a high-quality brand of flooring that is designed to bring the most benefit for the skaters that use it. Although synthetic ice may never be exactly like real ice, it is pretty close. The flooring has its own lubricating ingredient that is activated when skaters skate across it, much like real ice. When the lubricant is activated it causes the flooring to act so much like ice it is phenomenal. Ice skaters that have had a lot of experience on real ice can tell immediately that it has a little bit of a drag as the skater moves forward across the surface, but it is not enough of a drag to make a huge difference. The positive side of this little bit of drag is that it will make the skater push just that much harder in order to move around. With that being said, it is much like adding a small amount of weight to a workout routine. The extra little bit of resistance builds muscle strength and stamina. It is like skating with a little bit of extra weight. When the skater gets back to the real ice rink, skating will be much easier, and a lot like flying across the rink.

    Conclusion

    The reason why synthetic ice works so great is that it has been in the making for a very long time and scientists have almost perfected it. When it comes to practicing with a hockey shooting tarp, or a hockey puck rebounder, it is just as slick as real ice and allows for a great training experience. The best part is that synthetic ice flooring can be installed just about anywhere including your home, or office. If you are considering getting a spectacular hockey flooring, go for the best you can get: Sniper’s Edge Hockey.