Synthetic Ice, also known by the more ambiguous name ‘artificial ice’, is most commonly defined as being a solid polymer which is designed for being skated upon with normal skates with traditional metal blades. The first appearance of Synthetic Ice for use as a substitute for ice during Ice Skating came during the 1960s. However, the use of the polyoxymethylene plastic (developed during the 1950s) in fabricated Ice Rinks had several drawbacks, namely that skaters could not glide on surfaces made of this synthetic plastic without the regular application of a certain silicone compound which, when left on the surface of the synthetic ice, would regularly build up a layer on the surface and collect dirt and grime.
When skating on natural ice, the friction caused by the movement of the skate’s blade on the surface of the ice increases the temperature of the microscopic layers on the top of the ice, causing this layer to melt, thereby reducing drag and allowing the skating blade to glide on the surface of the ice. As this melting would not occur on a plastic ice rink (or any ice rink made from an artificial substance) liquid is used to optimise gliding, although some synthetic ice rinks do allow the users to skate on the surface without liquid having to be applied.
In the mid-1990s, however, the first full size synthetic skating floor was launched. This fabricated Skating Rink was made of interlocking panels made of high density polyethylene which, when sprayed with a gliding fluid, has similar gliding properties to a real ice rink.
There are other noticeable differences when comparing the use of artificial ice with that of natural ice. For example, more effort is typically required to skate on an artificial ice surface than on a natural one but this can prove to be beneficial for skaters as this side effect can be incorporated in resistance training. However, a notable disadvantage to using synthetic ice area (one which is often reported by skaters) is that skates become worn out much faster.
If the synthetic ice rink is being used for a wide range of ice-based activities and sports (ranging from normal ice skating, ice hockey and curling) yet another advantage of using synthetic Ice Rinks becomes evident as the temporary markings that are applied for hockey or other sports wear off easily (although permanently embedded markings do not scratch off) meaning that this surface can be used for a variety of purposes.
Click on http://www.vikingice.com/ to buy the premium quality of synthetic ice rinks for commercial, residential and outdoor use.