How to use Banner Mesh for In-Ice Graphics
We all know that banner mesh is an excellent material choice for banner applications requiring reduced wind resistance, or a certain amount of “transparency” – from construction site and fence graphics to building wraps and even window blinds. But a lesser known application with terrific market potential is in-ice graphics.
In-ice graphics are a high visibility advertising medium that can command a premium from sponsors for local curling, hockey and skating tournament organizers. For some clubs, this may mean a new source of sponsorship revenue. For others, in-ice graphics produced using banner mesh offers distinct advantages over conventional methods. For example: unlike other methods, digitally printed banner mesh is reusable, inexpensive, easy for ice makers to install, and does not create a thermal barrier.
So far, so Good – Right?
Here’s the thing. We’re not experts in ice-making. We’re not even novice ice-makers. In all likelihood, you aren’t either. So, when you’re discussing the idea with your customer, make sure the ice-maker is present at some point.
Only qualified ice makers can determine the safety and suitability of use of, and installation methods for, banner mesh for in-ice graphics in their facility and particular circumstance. Encourage them to test and make their own determination. From what we can gather, the following installation/testing guidelines should help them get started.
- First, ensure that printed graphics have been allowed to cure for a minimum of 24 hours. For that to happen, remove prints from take up roll, in order to ensure maximum circulation.
- Ice makers typically install graphics between their first and second layers of ice.
- After first layer of ice is in, shave down slightly the area where the banner mesh will be placed
- Place graphics in this area, then use a pressurized sprayer to lay a light mist of water covering the graphic to about 12″ beyond all edges. Allow mist of water to freeze.
- Take a clean paint roller and dip in water. Roll this over graphic covering to about 12″ beyond all edges. Allow this coat to freeze.
- Next, install a second layer of ice.
- Inspect area to ensure ice over the graphics has sufficient integrity, and that graphics are set in at a safe depth, based on intended use(s) of the ice surface
- Re-inspect after first use, before and after ice resurfacing
Photo used with permission under Creative Commons “Attribution Generic 2.0” License, with thanks to Kraft Hockeyville Thetford Mines 2009