PPG and the National Hockey League jointly announced that official game pucks featuring thermochromic coatings supplied by PPG will be in play at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium on Jan. 1, 2019.
The advanced coatings change from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing, providing a visual indication to officials that the puck should be replaced. The coated pucks will be tested at NHL tentpole events during the 2018-19 season and will be further evaluated for broader use in the future.
“Hockey pucks are made of vulcanized rubber and glide smoother and faster when frozen,” said Dan Craig, NHL VP of facilities operations. “Freezing a puck eliminates bouncing, and game officials closely monitor the puck for temperature changes that affect performance while in play. A coating that changes color when the puck is above freezing will more accurately alert the officials that it is time for a replacement.”
Thermochromic coatings supplied by PPG meet the NHL’s requirements for withstanding game-environment impacts and low temperatures without impacting adhesion. The coating is dispersed into an ink system and screen printed directly onto an official NHL game puck.
“Working closely with our technology partners, LCR Hallcrest and QCR Solutions Corporation, we’ve been able to offer a smart and elegant solution to a problem that can significantly impact gameplay,” said Alicia Cafardi, PPG senior marketing communications manager, industrial coatings. “The custom dye pigment that changes color with temperature was developed specifically for this application on hockey pucks, but the solution represents an opportunity for other applications where an easy, visual reference could serve to improve the performance or use of an object.”
PPG is the Official Paint of the NHL. The company’s paint products and coatings have a prominent presence throughout professional hockey, protecting and beautifying hockey arenas from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh and across Canada. In addition, PPG coatings help to reduce chips and wear on hockey equipment, including goal posts.