Design Life Cycle Poster
6 December 2018
Raw Materials: The Life Cycle of a Hockey Rink
Many people, worldwide, enjoy the activities that happen on hockey rinks but rarely do they think about the activity that happened under their feet in order for the rink to come into existence.There is a lot of science behind the raw materials of a hockey rink, from the actual materials used, to the breakdown of what the materials are made of. Many people do not think of the changes that a hockey rink goes through before it becomes the actual rink; this includes the fact that it first starts off as a basketball court. The main purpose of researching raw materials of a hockey rink is to break down the materials from from the beginning of its life cycle to the end of its waste cycle (as it pertains to added materials in the cycle) and to figure out if we are going through the right procedures to make these items used to make the rink, as well as recycle them.
The first two categories in the life cycle of the raw materials of a hockey rink are the acquisition and the manufacturing. The materials that go into building a hockey rink start with the basketball court. Although the rink is the most important part, it is still good to provide background as it pertains to the transformation of the court. Almost all professional hockey teams share their arenas with basketball teams. Usually the hockey rink is built underneath the basketball court and when it’s time to play hockey, the layers of the basketball court are stripped away. The layers of a basketball court from top to bottom consist of maple flooring (maple trees), plywood (hardwoods/softwoods: ash, maple, mahogany, oak, and teak, douglas fir, pine, cedar, spruce, and redwood), pine board (timber: cellulose fibers), and a foam layer (polyurethane/natural latex:sap of the rubber tree/Hevea Brasiliensis). When it’s time to play hockey, the staff in the arena remove the maple flooring square by square, then the plywood, and then comes the layer of foam. In order to set up the hockey rink, after all the materials from the basketball court are removed, the water for the hockey rink must be restored; The ice consists of 5 layers. A very important element of the ice is the paint (Titanium Dioxide: rutile and anatase) because in order to make the ice super white, it must be mixed in with the water. After the the five layers of ice (Demineralised water: purified water with all of its minerals, Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulphate, Nitrate and Bicarbonate, removed), the next layers from top to bottom consist of chilled concrete (portland cement,aggregates (sand and rock), and water), insulation (sand and glass (liquid sand)), heated concrete, sand (Quartz, Chalcedony, Sanidine, Orthoclase and microcline, Plagioclase, Muscovite and biotite, Glauconite, Clay minerals, Pyroxene, Amphiboles, Pumpellyite, Epidote, Tourmaline, Olivine, Garnet, Sillimanite, Kyanite, Staurolite, Titanite (sphene), Topaz, Zircon, Apatite, Monazite, Xenotime, Rutile, Anatase, Cassiterite, Corundum, Hematite, Ilmenite, Magnetite, and Chromite) and gravel (sandstone, limestone, and basalt), and a ground water drain (plastic:carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur). There are not many new raw materials added during the manufacturing process. The only things that could be considered added materials are the components that are used to cool the chilled concrete and heat the heated concrete. When it comes to chilled concrete, the only feature that is added is nitrogen; It is added into the concrete mix before laying it down as a layer. As far as the heated concrete, pipes that circulate hot water are added. Although Acquisition and manufacturing are very important to the raw material life cycle of a hockey rink, the following categories are just as significant.
The next two categories in the life cycle hockey rink pertaining to raw materials are transportation and maintenance. In transportation there are two main vehicles, concrete trucks and dump trucks. Concrete trucks use compressed natural gas which “increases the environmental performance of the construction process”. Dump trucks, which are used for sand and gravel, run on diesel fuel. The maintenance of a hockey rink consists of taking care of the ice. In order to take care of the ice a Zamboni machine is needed. A Zamboni is a machine that smooths over the ice. An article titled “How Ice Rinks Work” by Melissa Russell-Ausley breaks down the steps that the Zamboni takes by stating, “Most Zamboni machines have a thick blade. The blade scrapes a 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch layer of ice off the ice surface. The rougher the ice surface, the deeper the blade cuts. Just above the blade is a horizontal, rotating screw, or auger. The auger gathers the shaved ice, or snow, and rotates it up to a vertical auger, where a spinning blade picks up the moving snow and throws it into the bucket. Under the bucket, there are two tanks of water, one for "washing" the ice as it's shaved and one for making ice. As the resurfacing machine moves over the ice, the blade shaves layers of the ice off. Water from the wash-water tank is pumped over to a cleaner that blasts the water into the deep cuts in the ice and forces out dirt and debris. The excess water left on the ice is squeegeed off with a rubber blade (known as a towel) at the back end of the machine and vacuumed up. The hot water loosens the crystal structure of the old ice underneath, so the new ice will form a solid bond with the old ice, instead of a separate layer that chips off easily. The last step is to resurface the ice. Warm water from the second water tank is pumped over to the squeegee blade and spread evenly over the ice. This softens and fills in the deep cuts in the ice and helps to even out its surface”. All of the maintenance that happens because of the Zamboni would not be able to happen without the fuel that it runs on, and that fuel is propane; If it does not run on propane then it is powered by electricity.What is interesting about this process is that depending on the Zamboni model, it can hold up to 211 to 264 gallons of water. Being that the acquisition, manufacturing, recycling, and waste have been discussed, what happens in the coming categories may be the most crucial aspect in the life cycle of a hockey rink.
The last two categories as they pertain to the hockey rink’s life cycle are recycling and waste. The material that is recycled throughout this whole process is water. Many arenas have maintenance machines (Zambonis) that repurpose the water that has already been laid down as much as possible to help the planet by conserving water (Zambonis have a mechanism that allows them to clean the water after pulling it up from the surface). The article, First Recycled Water Hockey Arena In U.S. Opens, by Sara Jerome, states, “Using this type of water — recycled, reclaimed water — is a great bonus that we had in this area,” he said, per the report. “Some other places don’t have it as readily available as we do. And it’s great that we’re able to take advantage of it.” Not only is this method sustainable, but it also saves money. Recycled water can save up to 500,000- to 600,000-gallons of water per season. As far as waste, there isn’t much as long as the water is being recycled.
The major question throughout the whole research process of the life cycle of a hockey rink is what can be done to maintain environmental sustainability when it comes to building hockey rinks? The answer to this question posed is to continue to reuse all of the materials used to layer the hockey rink as much as possible. In the case of the hockey rink, the materials are very durable, and if anything but the water needed to be recycled or taken out, then the whole structure would have to be taken apart(that is why dependable materials were chosen so this does not happen often).The fewer materials that have to constantly be replaced, the better. So far the recycling of water is proving to be the most effective and most sustainable because it saves hundreds of thousand of gallons of water annually. The design of a hockey rink is super effective and sustainable as well because the materials that are used for it are impervious and long lasting.
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