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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

How Ice Skating on Artificial Ice Works

By December 27, 2013

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Ice skating on artificial ice in Myrtle Beach, SC. (Anne Helmenstine)


Ice skating is a wonderful winter sport, but what do you do if you live someplace where it is too warm for ice to freeze? One solution is to skate on artificial ice, like these kids are doing on the artificial ice skating rink in Myrtle Beach, SC. How does the artificial ice work? The '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 water ice, the friction between the blade and the ice melts a little water, allowing you to skate. On the artificial ice, it's momentum that gets you skating, with the silicone easing the friction between the skate blade and the plastic. It is different from regular ice skating, yet fun. The 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 frostbite.

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Comments

February 18, 2013 at 5:21 am
(1) adinalee111 says:

Great article! Thanks a lot for sharing interesting information.

February 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm
(2) Babebear says:

OKAY THIS IS NOT WHAT IM LOOKING 4 IM GOING TO REPORT U JK JK THIS REALLY HELPED

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