Ice rink

An ice rink means a surface that is covered with ice. Freezing can be done naturally ( natural ice ) or artificially (ice rink ).

Natural ice

The first natural ice were frozen lakes. But soon suitable areas were prepared to ice rinks. The existing snow cover must first be as compact as possible and are just rolled. Then iced with suitably low temperatures with enough water the area.

The largest natural ice rinks

The largest prepared natural ice rink in Europe is located in Davos. Here is a 400 - meter track for speed skating and ice hockey and curling rinks on a contiguous area are available on 18,000 m² in the center of the village.

In most years, the Neusiedler lake is frozen in Burgenland, depending on weather conditions between mid-December and February. He has an open water area of ​​157 km ² and is criss-crossed by canals, including the reed belt 285 km ². In the winter season he will become the largest ice rink in Central Europe, on the even ice sailing, ice-surfing and kite surfing Ice is operated. He is not well advertised, because the times are too few planned the tourism industry believes.

The largest ice rink in the Alps is 6.5 km ², the Weissensee in Carinthia, which from December to March at about 80 and at least 19 (2001 ) days may be negotiated annually. In January 2012, three 18.2 km long skating rinks are available there that are prepared early in the season to 15 meters wide and after alternatives Eleven Cities Tour end of January are still about 6 m wide, which together from an initial 273,000 sq ft to in January 109,200 m² circular track surface are. There are also ice hockey rinks, curling lanes and trails.

In the Vallée de Joux in the Swiss canton of Vaud in the Jura Mountains are the 8.77 km ² large Lac de Joux and the smaller Lake Ter. In many years, they are frozen in winter and can be traveled in January and February. However, the same next-door Brenet does not freeze.

The Rideau Canal in Ottawa is passable in winter from the parliament building to a length of 7.8 km and has an area of approximately 90 -hockey pitch (that's 164,700 m²). From 1971 to 2008 he was the longest skating rink in the world in the Guinness Book, and holds still the record for the largest total area.

Concurrently, is the Assiniboine ( Credit Union ) River Trail on the Assiniboine River and the Red River of the North in The Forks (Winnipeg ), which was recognized by the Guinness Book as the world's longest skating rink in 2008. The exact length varies depending on the river and ice conditions year after year and is usually 8.5 km with an area of ​​approximately 65 -hockey pitch (that is 118 950 m²), in 2008, the record length of 9.3 km was achieved.

In the winter season 2011/2012 the city Invermere (British Columbia) wants to beat the record holder Ottawa and Forks with her Whiteways Trail on Lake Windermere. The membrane shall have a length of 17.4 km and a passable area of ​​approximately 175,000 m² ( about 95 Hockey fields).

Artificial ice

With the invention of the refrigerator, it was possible to produce cold artificially. So you could set up fields of ice in the ice sports halls and exercise outside the cold season.

An ice rink has usually about 2 to 5 cm of ice.

Since the 80s also EPDM absorber for the production of artificial ice rinks are used. This technology is very energy efficient, inexpensive to buy and in operation. Therefore, this system is also increased in major projects such as ice rinks, skating rings, etc. are used. Furthermore, the flexible absorber ( ice mats ) allow the production of mobile ice rinks.

For mobile ice rinks is often since winter 2003/2004 a pre-assembled system of aluminum tubes used in place of EPDM absorber. The aluminum tubes are combined into flexibly interconnected modules and can thus be interpreted in any size. The improved refrigerant charge of aluminum in comparison to EPDM, the aluminum mesh is used in the ice making system and the Eiserhaltung with less energy ( heat transfer coefficient ). In addition, the higher cooling output allows a faster ice formation, so that the aluminum - preferred technique is used in the field of mobile ice rinks due to the cut and therefore energy- saving construction time.

In the 1960s, attempts have been made to replace artificial ice water with synthetic products to do without the infrastructure of a chiller. New plastics available now allow to drive with conventional skates as on real ice. Especially in warm regions of North America and increasingly complement the synthetic ice skating rink offer.

The mobile ice rink

An ice rink is a limited by a gang area whose floor consists of a thick layer of ice. In general, it is closed plants. These were prepared according to keep permanently frozen soil. Since there is some specialist companies have been able to optimize their refrigeration so that the ice is held outdoors under ideal conditions, these rinks are now increasingly moved more into the street. This mobile ice rinks in malls and urban spaces, this is thanks to them that enjoy ice sports greater public attention and an ever growing fan base. Where severe cold there, there are also natural ice rinks ( frozen lakes and rivers).

The natural ice rink

Since 2012 an artificial ice rink is operated in Basel pool Eglisee. The cooling tubes are permanently installed under a portion of the lawn; the ice rink is operated only in winter. The lawn is covered with foil; in spring the grass is renatured.

Construction of an ice rink

An ice rink is a limited by an encircling band surface on which artificially, that is, with the help of a refrigerator, a layer of ice and frozen produce is held.

First, a plane, sustainable and planierter ground is necessary for the construction of an ice rink. On the floor, a so-called blanket of cold crosslinked pipes is installed, forming a closed circuit. This cooling ceiling is connected to the main collector, which are located on one or both sides adjacent to the web. The main header in turn are connected to a water pump, a tank ( buffer tank or lung called ), and finally connected to the cooling machine. These elements together form a closed loop, which form the basis of future ice rink.

Now the circle is filled with a mixture of antifreeze ( monoethylene glycol or polypropylene glycol ) and water. The refrigeration unit can now be switched on. The pump ensures that the liquid is continuously circulated through the pipe network of the rink, and thanks to the buffer tank, the excess air is expelled, which would otherwise remain trapped in the cycle. The chiller reduces gradually the liquid temperature from -8 to -10 ° C. The first water layer is then sprayed on the pipes of the cooling ceiling with a water hose. The water immediately crystallizes. This process is repeated several times, thus gradually produced, the layer of ice. The ideal thickness of an ice rink is about 6 to 8 cm.

Before hitting the cooling soil

The fully rolled cold ground

The refrigerator next to the buffer tank connected to the ice rink

The buffer tank is filled with the mixture of water and antifreeze agent

The main collector of an ice rink

Structure of the peripheral band of a seasonal ice rink

When making ice

The frozen main collector of an ice rink

Open-air ice rink in the city center

Typical seasonal ice rink in the city center

Movement on the ice

To move safely on an ice rink, one needs appropriate means of transportation. These are connected either in the form of ice skates directly with the feet (see figure skating, ice hockey, speed skating ) or there are separate sports equipment that have skids or other equivalent usable edges (see Bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, ice sailing, ice-surfing ).

The sliding on the ice is achieved by a concentrated collection as possible of the weight on a small area so that the ice melts at the contact point, significantly down sets as a lubricant sliding friction.