from the Pittsburgh Penguins,
The Pittsburgh Penguins, Covestro, and Athletica Sport Systems today announced a state-of-the-art dasher board design that has been installed at the Covestro Innovation Rink at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. This prototype is not only significantly safer for players, but it does not impede the normal puck play off the boards or around the boards. The new technology is shown to provide up to 65% improvement in energy absorption when a player hits the boards using scientific testing of acceleration, force and impact.
Now commercially available, the new dasher board design is the first product that was designed in a unique collaboration among the Pittsburgh Penguins, Covestro (a global material science company), and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) called "Rethink the Rink." This annual Make-a-thon project uses the technology innovation of CMU and its students combined with the high-tech material science expertise of Covestro engineers, and the game winning insight of the Pittsburgh Penguins, to advance the safety of the game of hockey.
In its first year, the Make-a-thon at Carnegie Mellon focused on rink dasher board design. Dasher boards surround hockey rinks and are used as a boundary; by players playing pucks off the boards in making passes; and checking other players into the boards to separate them from the puck. Hockey is the only major sport with a fixed board boundary so while playing hockey, pucks and players are making frequent contact with the boards, both with high speed and intensity.
Current board design has very little, if any, "give" when a player comes in contact with them. Most rink board design has steel framed elements, flush against a white High-Density Polyethylene board. Some older rinks still actually use steel framed wooden boards.