January/February 2021

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Page 31 of 47

W hat is ice tempering? It is an ice maintenance technique used for strengthening and improving the overall condition of the ice sheet. Quite often, ice tempering is confused with nighttime ice temperature setbacks. Both ice tempering and nighttime setbacks are similar in the fact that these techniques are normally performed overnight when the facility is closed and a temperature adjustment is made to the refrigeration system. However, the goals and methods of performing each technique are very different. The sole goal of nighttime setbacks is to save on utility costs. To do so, the ice technician raises the refrigeration system ice temperature settings so the compressors and secondary refrigerant pumps will not run, or only run for a limited time during periods when there is no activity scheduled for the ice. Ice tempering is different in that the goal is to improve overall ice quality. The ice tempering technique involves raising the ice surface temperature at least four degrees for a minimum of eight hours. When this is done, it allows for the entire ice surface to "relax" and soften up without completely melting or affecting the ice markings. Once the ice softens up, the entire ice sheet will actually contract or shrink and relax or release some of the pressure built up in it. The colder the ice sheet is kept during normal operations, the more pressure will build up in it over time. When the ice is in this "relaxed state" it will NOT be suitable for skating, so there should be no scheduled on-ice skating or hockey activities. That is Temper, Temper! RINK PHOTOS Why ice tempering is a valuable maintenance technique— and how you can get started // by Don Moffatt, CIRM Main Benefits of Ice Tempering , Healing of stress cracks and weak spots in the ice surface. , Improved hardness of the ice surface without adjustment in normal surface temperatures. The ice will be denser and skate "faster" without the skate blade cutting too far into the ice sheet. , Removal of impurities within the surface of the sheet. 32 / JANUARY.FEBRUARY.2021 USICERINKS.COM

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