MIDLAND, MI, Oct. 31, 2008 -- The Dow Chemical Company Performance Fluids Business has donated 1,800 gallons of DOWTHERM™ SR-1 to the Midland Curling Center. DOWTHERM SR-1 will be very important to ensuring and maintaining the frozen, competitive surfaces for curling.
The new Midland Curling Center officially opened Friday, October 31, 2008. It is located at 2009 Jefferson Avenue in Midland, MI.
"We are very happy to be associated with the new Midland Curling Center," said Steven Stanley, Ph.D., global business director for Dow Performance Fluids. "While most people will never see or even know about the presence of Dow chemistry at the Curling Center, it is very important in creating world class competitive surfaces at this and other similar venues." There are four, new curling surfaces at the center all using DOWTHERM SR-1. Dow Performance Fluids has plenty of experience with winter sport as The Dow Chemical Company is the official supplier of heat transfer fluids for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.
Where Chemistry Is Used
DOWTHERM SR-1 fills the refrigeration tubes underneath the curling surface. The tubes are guaranteed to stay at the desired temperature, plus or minus one degree. So a consistent, high quality surface is assured. Dow Performance Fluids supplies heat transfer fluids to a number of competitive winter sports venues including the Midland Speed Skating Arena and the Nordic Ski Jump venue in Vancouver that will be used for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Maintaining Ice Integrity For Curlers
Maintaining the integrity of the sliding surface for skis, skates, or curling stones requires very exact temperature controls. The smoother the surfaces, the less drag there is and the better the performance for the competitors. When ice surface temperature fluctuates, warm spots will create slush and even puddles of water. The water/slush will slow the stone, skate, or ski, and interfere with the "world class" performance that Olympic type venues demand. This is why keeping the surface uniformly cold is so important. For venues that host national and international competitions, DOWTHERM SR-1 is often chosen. DOWTHERM SR-1 will remove both heat and concern for the operators of venues like the Midland Curling Center, because in addition to keeping temperatures regulated it provides corrosion protection that traditional fluids do not. Using DOWTHERM SR-1 will mean lower system maintenance costs for many years to come. The original fill of fluid at similar installations have lasted more than thirty years.
Dow Experience With Sports
Dow Performance Fluids has supplied other sporting venues all over the world with similar kinds of heat transfer fluids. Among these are: The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan, home of the Detroit Red Wings; Air Canada Center - Home of the Toronto Maple Leafs; Ralph J. Engelstadt Arena - Home of the University of N. Dakota Fighting Sioux; Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconson, home of the Green Bay Packers; the Cleveland Browns Football Stadium, and the Baltimore Orioles Basball Stadium to name just a few.
Curling, It's Like Chess On Ice!
While the Olympic sport of Curling is not as popular in the U.S. as it is in Canada, plenty of people can be found honing their Curling abilities in northern states like Michigan. Curling, for those not familiar with the sport, consists of two, four-person teams hurling a 42 pound granite rock (dubbed the "stone" in Curling parlance) down the ice into a scoring zone that looks like a bull's-eye. A pair of sweepers follows the stone down the ice and, on command, begin to feverishly brush the ice to control the stone's speed and direction.. After sixteen throws per team, the one with the highest points score wins.
While it sounds simple enough, teams have to decide how fast and hard to launch the stone, and whether to put a spin on it. Additionally, players must anticipate what the opposing team will do and decide whether or not to try and keep the opponent's stone or throw blocking stones in the way to prevent it being done to them. This is one of the big appeals of curling: figuring out the strategies, what not to do, what your opponent might do or could do. If you like this kind of strategy, curling is the sport for you.
Ice that is best for one winter sport may not work for another. Maintaining the ice is also no small accomplishment for any winter sport. Gone are the days of official competitions occurring on local ponds. Making and maintaining these surfaces is a science unto itself. Supplying the chemistry in this science is where The Dow Chemical Company and Dow Performance Fluids fit in. DOWTHERM™ SR-1 heat transfer fluid from Dow takes away excess heat from the surface and provides the freezing media for the frozen water that makes curling possible.
Dow is a diversified chemical company that delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in around 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products.