Synthetic ice is a solid polymer sheet material made from polyethylene plastic. These polymer sheets are connected together using various methods to form an artificial ice skating surface. Early implementation of synthetic ice for ice skating dates back to the 1960's when polymer materials became more commonplace in everyday life.
Over the decades synthetic ice has continued to develop with the use of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Utra-High Molecular Weight (UHMWPE) being the industry standard amonst most manufacturers and distributors. DIfferent variations of these polymer compounds along with "slip" agent additives continued to improve the overall performance of todays modern synthetic ice.
Synthetic ice rinks can virtually be installed in any location or climate condition with relitively easy assemble. With no need for electricity or refrigeration and with the improvement of it's performance, synthetic ice has become a cost effective substitute to refrigerated ice.
Some surfaces do require a glide enhancer spray while others are infused with a slip agent additive to reduce surface friction or "coefficient of friction". Skaters can expect 10-15% added friction while skating on synthteic ice which has helped it to become a popular training tool for Hockey Players and Figure Skaters alike.