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Ice rink construction

Dave Wescott is one of America's top ice rink technicians. He has overseen the construction and maintenance of rinks used for hockey and figure-skating competitions in several Winter Olympics. He explained his process for creating such an ice rink, which has been illustrated in this information graphic.

Ice rinks for the Olympics are often set up temporarily and have foundations of sand. The sand buries a network of pipes circulating about 3,000 gallons of antifreeze, which carries heat away from the sand. The sand is saturated with water and gradually freezes solid.

On top of the frozen sand, ice rink technicians build up thin layers of ice. They use water mixed with white paint to make three of the earlier layers. Then they paint graphics on this white ice. Afterward, They cover the graphics with as many as 50 more layers unit they reach a thickness of about an inch.

In the chiller, heat is transferred from the antifreeze to Freon (gas) circulating in a separate network. As the Freon travels through the refrigeration system, it is compressed, cooled (liquefied) and then expanded (evaporated); the process allows heat to dissipate. As a secondary refrigerant, the antifreeze carries heat from the rink to the chiller. Human scale A network of pipes circulates antifreeze beneath the ice. A different network of pipes heats the ground beneath the insulation to prevent permafrost, which may cause the ice above to heave. The ice is about an inch thick, built of about 40 to 50 layers. Three layers of ice mixed with white paint Antifreeze is circulated through frozen sand. A layer of clear ice Graphics are painted by hand on the white ice below and covered with a layer of clear ice ICE LAYERS BASIC REFRIGERATION CHILLER COMPRESSOR EXPANSION VALVE FREON GAS SUB-FLOOR COOLING SYSTEM INSULATION
In the chiller, heat is transferred from the antifreeze to Freon (gas) circulating in a separate network. As the Freon travels through the refrigeration system, it is compressed, cooled (liquefied) and then expanded (evaporated); the process allows heat to dissipate. A different network of pipes heats the ground beneath the insulation to prevent permafrost, which may cause the ice above to heave. Antifreeze is circulated through frozen sand. A layer of clear ice Three layers of ice mixed with white paint Graphics are painted by hand on the white ice below and covered with a layer of clear ice The ice is about an inch thick, built of about 40 to 50 layers. As a secondary refrigerant, the antifreeze carries heat from the rink to the chiller. A network of pipes circulates antifreeze beneath the ice. 1 2 3 4 5 SUB-FLOOR COOLING SYSTEM INSULATION ICE LAYERS CHILLER COMPRESSOR Antifreeze EXPANSION VALVE FREON GAS BASIC REFRIGERATION Human scale 1 2 3 4 5

Jacob Benison, Information Graphic, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 04 February 2006

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