Thursday, April 22, 2010

Synthetic Ice Ricks

Synthetic Ice Ricks

Have you ever seen people playing hockey in the middle of summer on what looks lice ice? At first you give your head a shake. Then you notice the players are wearing ice skates, so you know not hallucinating ... but WTF?

No, you haven't lost it. They are playing on synthetic ice.

Forty-eight synthetic outdoor ice rinks are operated across Toronto.

How does the synthetic ice work?

Synthetic 'Ice' consists of interlocking squares of white plastic, which has been sprayed with a mixture of silicone and water to allow normal ice skates to slide across the surface. It's sort of like slipping across a giant lubricated cutting board.

When you skate on real ice, the friction between the blade and the ice melts a little water, allowing you to skate. On the artificial ice, it's your momentum that gets you skating, with the silicone easing the friction between the skate blade and the synthetic ice.

It is different from regular ice skating, yet you're still skating. The synthetic silicone solution is non-toxic and environmentally-friendly, so it's safe for skin contact if you fall on the ice, plus you don't need to worry about freezing your toes off in your skates.

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