Synthetic Ice vs Artificial Ice
Posted by Brett M
When most people think of ice, they think of water that has been frozen. Ice is ice; it doesn’t seem to go much deeper than that. However, there is more to ice than frozen water and ice melt.
Traditionally, ice has always been frozen water. Today, however, technology has allowed us to use various types of ice, depending on the activity.
You might be surprised to learn that most activities on ice, professional and casual, are done on either synthetic or artificial ice. What is the difference? Why use one over the other?
At KwikRink, we specialize in helping you enjoy ice in a variety of ways. If you are looking to expand your business and bring in new customers, synthetic ice might be just what you are looking for. Contact us today and see how we can help you.
Synthetic ice is just what it sounds like, a block of synthetic or man-made ice.
Ice rinks with traditional ice are incredibly expensive to maintain. To combat these high costs, engineers developed alternative methods to create ice rinks. The drawback is that these alternative rinks have to look, feel, and perform like traditional ice.
Most synthetic ice rinks are made of plastic. A common nickname for these rinks is plastic rinks. However, an excellent synthetic ice rink mimics real ice as closely as possible.
There are two types of synthetic ice:
- Injection molding
- Sinter-pressing or just by pressing
Sinter-pressing is much more expensive than injection molding. The result, however, is better synthetic ice that more closely resembles a traditional ice rink.
Synthetic ice rinks are made from plastic panels or ice sheets. These panels or sheets are connected in different ways, depending on the brand. Most importantly, skaters should never feel the connections.
To make the synthetic ice feel and act more like ice, sometimes lubricants are added to the surface, or silicones or other additives are included in the base.
With our exclusive formula, KwikRink Synthetic V, you will never need to reapply any lubricant or other additives. Our synthetic ice panels will never lose their glide
Synthetic ice is sometimes referred to as artificial ice. So the term artificial ice is ambiguous.
Artificial ice often refers to water that has been frozen by a machine. Because the water was mechanically frozen, it is not a natural ice surface.
For many years, artificial ice was the most common, if not only, indoor skating surface. Rinks would be made from water that was frozen and maintained by a machine. This surface was kept frozen with a refrigeration system.
It’s not hard to imagine how expensive this is to maintain. Because ice naturally wants to melt when the air around it is warmer than freezing, your system has to work hard to keep the ice frozen.
Plus, you have to continually replace ice that has been chipped and scraped away by skaters.
To maintain an artificial ice rink, you will need to control the humidity and temperature of the area carefully. Plus, a Zamboni is required to maintain an artificial ice rink.
In this case, frozen ice is just what it sounds like: water that has naturally been frozen. Generally, naturally frozen ice can only happen outdoors in areas where the temperature remains low enough to keep water frozen.
Usually, this is on a lake or pond. However, it is possible to add water to an area and have it naturally freeze to create a skating surface.
If you are considering adding an ice rink to your business, you might be wondering what the best option is. Unless you live in a cold area, traditionally frozen ice is likely out of the question.
This leaves the debate between synthetic and artificial ice. We are here to encourage you to consider synthetic ice for a variety of reasons.
First of all, synthetic ice is convenient. If you don’t have the time or money to maintain artificial or naturally frozen ice, synthetic ice will give you a skating surface all year long. Whereas frozen ice takes time to form, synthetic ice, once put together, is always ready to go.
Synthetic Ice is the Way To Go
Synthetic ice is also more affordable than an artificial ice rink. After the initial investment, your skating rink is ready. You will not have to purchase compressors. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about the environment, humidity, or temperature.
Another thing many people enjoy about synthetic ice is not needing a Zamboni. If you grew up skating, you know how annoying it was to sit and wait for the Zamboni to sweep, clean, and seal the ice.
Synthetic ice is designed to mimic real ice. Because synthetic ice is not real, it does take a little more effort to skate.
However, practicing on synthetic ice and playing or competing on real ice gives you an advantage. Working harder in practice will pay off in competition.
A significant drawback people used to consider regarding synthetic ice was the damage to skates. This wear-down used to be the case. Thankfully, new technologies reduce friction and wear on skates.
Finally, synthetic ice is available in just about any size, shape, or configuration you want. Depending on your budget and accessible space, you can get just about any layout.
Call KwikRink Today
If you are interested in an ice rink for your home or business, contact KwikRink today. We have worked with people and companies on a variety of projects.
We will work together to figure out a budget, plan, and installation for your synthetic ice rink. Whether you need a regulation size practice rink for a hockey team or are just wanting a rink for casual skating and play, KwikRink will ensure you have an incredible rink you can use year-round.