Synthetic ice has been around since a few decades, although it has become more of a possible substitute for professional use only recently. Synthetic ice may be used for ice skating competitions, training or as backyard rinks for kids to get a hang of ice skating before considering going for professional training as an option. It may also be used as a fun activity for kids during holidays. What exactly is synthetic ice? What is it made of?
What is synthetic ice?
Synthetic ice is essentially made of a solid polymer that is usually made using plastic as a base. The polymer surface is made to be used by skaters wearing standard metal roller blades used for ice skating. The polymer is designed as interlocking blocks that fit together to give a rink surface for skating. These interlocking panels are made of the same size as building material sheets.
The panels need to be set up on a base that is smooth and sturdy. The base could be made of concrete, mud, wood or any other material that is capable of heavy load bearing.
How is synthetic ice manufactured?
Synthetic ice is made using plastic polymers. Artificial ice can be made at home using water, sulfuric acid and a few other chemicals. However, professional manufacturers should be brought in if you are looking for high quality products with perfect finishing, sturdiness and durability.
Synthetic ice is said to mimic the surface and texture of natural ice up to 90 percent, which means that it may take a little getting used to initially, but then can be a great alternative for natural ice, especially in warm places. The surface of such ice needs to be sprayed with liquid gliders to make it easier to skate on them.
Since it takes a little more effort to skate on synthetic ice as compared to normal ice, it can be a great alternative for resistance training, training in ice skating or adding something new and interesting to your workout regime.
Things to note about synthetic ice
- It is not suitable for consumption, even the homemade kind.
- It may require additional chemicals to make the surface easier for ice skating.
- Some products may have restrictions on the kind of environment the product may be used in, so understand the conditions before buying to ensure it suits your requirements.
- It requires cleaning and maintenance, plus needs to be checked for gaps, chipping and uneven surfaces, all on a regular basis.
Ensure that you have enough space and the right kind of environment before investing in synthetic ice rinks at home, schools or elsewhere. If used correctly, synthetic ice rinks can be a great alternative to ice skating enthusiasts living in warmer climates.