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How Synthetic Ice Rinks Differ From Real Ice

  2022-01.17  Read:share:

In a real ice rink, there’s a little bit of magic that happens with ice skates. Ice skates, being narrow blades, focus the weight of your body on a small point. This point compresses the ice beneath it, which increases the temperature of that section of ice, usually melting a tiny bit of it. That tiny bit of melting water makes the ice extremely slippery and is how ice skates seem almost frictionless.
Synthetic ice, being a plastic, doesn’t melt. Instead, it’s designed to have an extremely low coefficient of friction, meaning it’s very slippery like ice. Traditionally this is a high-density polyethylene, but new modern materials like ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene are becoming more and more popular.

Unfortunately, even the slipperiest of plastics is still not quite as frictionless as real ice. Modern synthetic ice rinks tend to be about 10-15% greater in friction than real ice; comparable, but not identical. This is why most synthetic ice rinks use a surface treatment to further decrease friction and make it slipperier for your guests. Back