PPG Provides NHL with Thermochromic Coating


Pittsburgh-based coatings company PPG announced earlier this week that its partnership with the National Hockey League will begin testing a thermochromic coating on game pucks.

The first pucks with the coating will be in play at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Coating

According to PPG, the coating on the pucks changes from purple to clear when a puck’s temperature is above freezing, giving a visual cute to the officials that the puck should be replaced.

“Hockey pucks are made of vulcanized rubber and glide smoother and faster when frozen,” said Dan Craig, NHL Vice President 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.”

The thermochromic coating—which is dispersed into an ink system and screen-printed onto the pucks—meets the NHL’s requirements for withstanding game-environment impacts and low temperatures without impacting adhesion.

“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 game play,” 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.”

The coating will continue to be tested during the 2018-19 season in evaluation for further use.


Tagged categories: Coatings Technology; Coatings Technology; North America; PPG

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