Ice rink barriers are crucial for serving protection against flying objects and airborne debris to the spectators of ice games. However, deciding the appropriate material for barriers is something to ponder upon.
While some sports arena owners prefer laminated glass, others prefer polycarbonate sheets. Before jumping on to any conclusions, one must consider the grave consequences of an unsafe barrier material – skin lacerations, eye injuries, and more.
When safety is of prime importance, polycarbonate comes into play. To prove our point, let’s compare the performance of polycarbonate ice rink barriers to others.
Why Choose Polycarbonate Over Other Materials
1. Protection against powerful collisions: Ice rink barriers or hockey rink barriers protect the spectators from flying or falling objects, fragments, and airborne debris. But there are situations where a player or a flying puck can collide with the barriers with a fierce force.
And if the barriers are of glass, they are bound to shatter into millions of pieces, with each piece being roughly oblong and about 0.5 inch to 1 inch long. Unfortunately, these notorious glass chips show no mercy to anyone stepping up on them accidently.
And not to forget, ferocious collisions with these barriers can cause glass shards to shower down on the players, officials, and nearby spectators, thereby creating the possibility of skin slashes and serious eye injuries. Polycarbonate hockey rink barriers, on the other hand, possess 250 times the impact resistance and shatter resistance of glass.
Furthermore, polycarbonate sheets are virtually unbreakable and can easily survive vandalism and accidental damage. Therefore, sports arena owners will no more see collisions as a threat to the safety of their staff and participants.
2. No Clean-up complications: If the staff has managed to survive the shattering of glass barriers, cleaning up the mess will be no less than a herculean task. Maintenance personnel need to carefully locate and remove the glass chips that have fallen on the ice and floor.
They also need to check seats and other surrounding objects for the same. And it is obviously not possible to determine whether every piece has been cleared up unless someone slips and falls on an unnoticed piece. Adding up to the clean-up problems are the portions of the shattered glass that did not fall during breakage but did fall during replacement operations.
As far as polycarbonate rink barriers are concerned, such clean-up problems do not exist because polycarbonate is nearly unbreakable and super flexible, so much that even bending them to extreme levels would do no harm to the material.
3. No interference in the tempo of the game: Imagine you are competing with several ace players in an ice skating completion. And suddenly one of the players collides with a glass barrier, causing it to break. What will be your reaction? Will you continue skating without losing your concentration? Obviously not.
Shattering of glass has a major, outcome-determinative effect on the rhythm of a match. By the time the maintenance personnel will clean up the glass chips, a team will easily lose its focus and momentum.
This situation will not arise if the barriers are made up of polycarbonate, as the barriers will be both high-impact resistant and virtually unbreakable.
4. Unrivalled Life span: Unlike glass, polycarbonate is a durable material that can endure years of abuse, including hailstorms, accidental damage, and vandalism.
The average life span of polycarbonate sheets is 10 years, which on the application of various safety coatings extends up to 15 years. Therefore, polycarbonate ice rink barriers are cost effective and a one-time investment.
5. Great visibility in teeth-gritting winters and scorching-hot summers: Outdoor ice rinks are fun to play in. But in chilly weather conditions, a layer of fog deposits on the surface of glass barriers, which affects the visibility of the spectators who are enjoying the game from outside the rink.
On the other hand, in scorching-hot summers, the glaring sun will not allow the spectators to view the game through the glass barriers comfortably. To solve these issues, polycarbonate ice rink barriers come for rescue.
These barriers are covered with a layer of anti-fog coating and anti-glare coating, which ensures visibility in any climatic condition. Also, to protect the barriers from hailstorms and other flying debris, anti-scratch coating is applied to the polycarbonate sheets before installation.
6. Maximizes profit margins: With the use of CNC routing and silk-screen printing techniques, a company can advertise their brand or new products on the polycarbonate ice rink barrier. Or as a commercial venture, the sports arena owner can sell the space to local companies or organizations for advertising purposes.
7. High-refractive index provides decent optical clarity: Polycarbonate has a high-refractive index and 85% light transmittance to provide a decent visual clarity. Moreover, seamless shield systems provide spectators with an unobstructed view of the ice rink.
The seamless system removes the aluminum or steel post and replaces it with polycarbonate clips that are specially designed to prevent the separation of the shield panels.
8. Easy installation: Being heavy, glass barriers are difficult to carry and install. One wrong move can break them into thousands of pieces, thereby shaking your budget. Whereas polycarbonate barriers are 50% the weight of glass, which makes them incredibly lightweight and easy to transport and install.
After reading out the performance of polycarbonate, the first question that will pop up in your mind is – how are these barriers made? Well, in a nutshell, a CNC cutting machine precision cuts a polycarbonate sheet as per the coordinates fed into it.
The trimmed sheets are then assembled by using a security fixing system to form an ice rink barrier. The security fixing system can be aluminum panels or polycarbonate clips. If desired, aluminum panels can be beautified by coating them with the powder of the preferred color. It is recommended to pair up aluminum dasher boards with polycarbonate for supreme quality and durability. The shielding system of the barriers can be supported or seamless.