SmartRink is a company that actually does have a heavy duty synthetic ice system. Other companies may call their system “heavy duty” or “commercial” synthetic ice…but those interested really need to know what to ask the venders of so called “heavy duty” synthetic ice. They can call it whatever they want to but please don’t embarrass anymore by continuing to call your product “heavy duty” becasue very simply it isn’t.
The strength of conversely the weakness of any synthetic ice system is both the material and the connection system. First of all let’s focus on the connection system. A dovetail system is not a heavy duty system. It does not matter if it has a patent or not. Having a patent does not make it heavy duty. Having a connection system that won’t come apart is a step in the right direction however. Dovetail or jigsaw connection joints are very common. They have decent horizontal pull out strength but they have almost no vertical strength in terms of coming apart.
In terms of shear strength, there is absolutely no equal on the market today of the SmartRink H-Tongue Heavy Duty connection system. Any company out – please take on the challenge – we’ll do a test anytime for vertical pull out strength. The only product that might come marginally close would be those companies using the plug / dowel / flat tongue connection system. We have used that as well but in a large scale project it’s not practical becuase of the time it takes install it. But it does do the job quite well.
The second criteria for being “heavy duty” is the material. North American sellers use extruded sheet material. Extruded material simply wears out faster. Any standard industry lab test shows this. The results are clear. Sinter pressed sheets kick the heck out of extruded sheets anytime in any test. The simple reason being is that sinter pressed sheets can use a much higher molecular weight resin. It’s far more abrasion resistant and will therefore last far longer.
So the next time you see a seller of synthetic ice claiming to have heavy duty panels you’ll know what to ask about. Chances are they will just start dropping their prices because they know they can’t compete in this category unless they are much less expensive – and even then it’s comparing apples to oranges.