PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For hockey players, having to play with a puck that isn’t properly chilled can be frustrating.
Pucks are made of vulcanized rubber and if they are warm, they’ll bounce all over the ice. So, pucks are normally frozen before a game to ensure that they slide better on the ice.
“Freezing a puck eliminates bouncing, and game officials closely monitor the puck for temperature changes that affect performance while in play,” said Dan Craig, NHL vice president of facilities operations.
But, how can the on-ice officials be sure that a puck is at a proper temperature? That’s a problem that a Pittsburgh company is working to solve.
According to a press release, PPG teamed up with LCR Hallcrest to develop a thermochromic coating that changes from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing.
Rather than going on feel, which can be subjective, officials will able to quickly see if a puck isn’t at the correct temperature and swap it out.
Here’s how it works:
“A purple pigment is applied to the NHL logo and commissioner’s signature that appears in white on every official game puck. When the label turns back to a white shade, officials will know that the temperature of the puck has risen above 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s time for some fresh, frozen vulcanized rubber.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins tested the pucks during exhibition games and practices this season.
The new pucks will see NHL ice for the first time during the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2019. The game will be played at Notre Dame Stadium.