Winter Olympics notwithstanding, if a team of chemical engineers from Purdue University has its way, new “plastic ice” will turn bobsledding into a year-round sport. According to an article from Newsweek, the team’s goal is to make bobsledding more accessible, less expensive and more environmentally friendly by using a lubricated polyethylene material to mimic the icy surface on future bobsled tracks.
Traditional bobsled track come with a hefty price tag and those already built on artificial ice require a constant cooling system that eats up energy, according to the article. A plastic track would reportedly reduce the environmental impact by 60 to 70%. In 1,000 test runs, the plastic bobsled track didn’t deteriorate, according to Newsweek. The material could also be used for skeleton, luge and other ice sports.
Read the entire article here.