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.
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.
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.