[Lab] Crashed Ice - How the track is built

Jason Cobill jason.cobill at gmail.com
Thu Mar 2 11:48:32 EST 2017

   I've been wondering about the Crashed Ice track, and discovered some
cool technical details on the Ottawa 2017 Page.


*What does it take to build a 375m ice track on the historic Ottawa Locks
of Parks Canada’s Rideau Canal?*


   - Length: 375m
   - Width: 4m
   - Vertical drop: 35m
   - Ice surface: Artificial, 1500 m2
   - Ice Thickness: 12cm


   - 4 high performance refrigeration units called “chillers”
   - 36,000 litres of salt-water brine (coolant) will be piped through the
   refrigeration system and then through the refrigerated rubber mats that
   stretch the length of the 460m track
   - A team of 20 ice makers will spray water in a fine mist onto the
   refrigerated mats 24 hours a day for 6 days to create the competition ice
   - A hot water pressure washing system will be used to flush the track in
   the same manner as a Zamboni would for a hockey rink ice surface
   - An organic crystallizing agent will create ice that’s five times
   denser than that of an NHL rink
   - The cooling system is able to produce ice even in warmer temperatures
   reaching up to 20 degrees
   - Immediately following the competition, two 400KW electric boilers are
   used to heat the brine and circulate it through the mats to melt the ice


   - Over 80% of the track will be built on top of scaffolding structures
   - The track features over 600,000lbs of scaffolding + 123,500lbs of
   - Over 500 Plexiglas® sheets
   - 800 specially designed steel supports legs to keep the sideboards
   - 100 4 x 4s mounted to custom steel legs help keep the dasher boards in
   place and provide stability in high impact zones
   - 1400 Plywood sheets cover the track flooring
   - 4 Forklift trucks are in operation over 8 hours per day for 4 weeks
   - Over 10,000 hours of labour are required just for the construction of
   the track structures and the ice
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