Synthetic outdoor hockey rinks have had many producers over the years and it has been commercially and publicly available and used since the early Sixties. For many years though it was an unmanageable product because of the styles in which it was produced. Butt or Spline jointing was common practice but this method had issues with expansion and contraction. When this happened it would cause the product to separate which would result in open gaps in the main skating surface. This was a major cause for safety concerns for skaters as hitting a gap could cause falls and injuries. Rinks were forced to shut down because the areas had to be re-aligned. Trying to repair an outdoor hockey rink was no easy task simply because of the weight of the product.
The older version of materials that were used were also of different grades of Polyethylenes that did not wear well. They often also required Silicone additives to be added to the surface to increase the glide factor. While this did increase the motion, it would tend to build up and become dirty from air born dust particles leaving behind a greasy and hard to clean to surface which to say the least was not very good for your equipment. Another negative side effect was that it would tend to stain all it came in contact with. All these factors combined have tarnished the general public perception of Synthetic Ice over the years. My next blog post will address how things have improved and what is available today.
Wayman Harten is the Owner & President of Synthetic Ice Solutions, Wayman has 28 years of Technical Experience in the Plastics Industry and is passionate about providing the best artificial ice rinks at very affordable prices. Visit www.syntheticicesolutions.com to see information and videos about the product or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question.