January/February 2021

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why this technique is typically done overnight. After your ice sheet has sat for at least eight hours at the recommended four degrees Fahrenheit above-normal operating surface temperature, you will need to bring the temperature back down to normal slowly. The slower you can do this, the better the results will be. Ideally you would bring the sheet back to normal operating temperatures at a rate of one degree per hour. Example: Your last group is off the ice at 10 p.m. You have figure skating scheduled the next day from 8-10 a.m. and hockey scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Begin to drop the temperature control one degree per hour at 6 a.m. to get back to your normal operating surface temperature by the time hockey starts. In the example above, you will notice a full 10 hours between the end of the last event the night before and the start of the figure skating the next morning. In this case, it would be acceptable because normal operating surface temperatures for figure skating are generally between 24-26 degrees Fahrenheit. Before you or your staff attempts the ice tempering process, you must know the capabilities of your refrigeration system. Some refrigeration systems will be able to maintain ice surface temperatures closer to the freezing point of water (32 degrees F) without any risk of entirely melting the ice surface, while other systems will not be able to hold the ice at these temperatures for various reasons. Your refrigeration system may not also be capable of bringing the ice temperature down one degree per hour. If you do not have the proper time due to scheduled events or your refrigeration system does not have the capability to slowly bring the ice sheet back to normal operating temperatures, then it would be best to do it another day when you do have a full 12 hours of unscheduled activity between the start and end of the tempering process. The best time to temper your ice sheet is the night before you have ice maintenance scheduled. This will allow you to complete the ice maintenance on a soft sheet of ice, allowing for easier edging and shaving while it is being brought back to normal operating temperatures. The ice tempering technique should only be used occasionally when needed. If your ice is becoming very brittle with cracks and weak spots showing, then it is a good time to use this technique. During your busy season, a good rule of thumb is once a month. Another good time to use this technique is shortly after you have installed your ice sheet. Typically ice technicians do not have ample time for the ice installation process, so they usually will run the refrigeration plant as cold as possible in order to build ice quickly after it has been painted. This rapid freezing will result in an ice sheet with a tremendous amount of pressure built into it. It is a good idea to relieve this pressure in the new "green" sheet of ice before any activity so that your customers get the best ice quality possible. J 1°F bring the temperature back down, ideally at a rate of per hr GOAL: improve overall ice quality When the ice is in this "relaxed state," it will NOT be suitable for skating 4°F 8 hrs for at least raise the temperature of the ice surface by a minimum of USICERINKS.COM JANUARY.FEBRUARY.2021 / 33 !

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