Before we acquire all of our materials we have some important decisions to make, some easier than others. First off we need to consider what sliding matrix we want to choose, there are many different options and it all will come down to price and availability and how far you want to slide. One of the design considerations for a puck is how you will use it, if you will make a lot of really crazy long lasting slides then a really slick material is great, but you give up some stopping friction. On the other hand if you just want to do some casual slides and other stuff then an intermediate CoF material will work great giving a nice compromise between stopping power, wear, and how long you can slide.
**if you already know what material you are going to slide on you can skip the following as it contains a lot of material description.**
The Sliding Matrices:UHMWPE
- aka Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene; This slider is one of the cheaper and better materials to use IMO. It has a cost of about $10-$15 per square foot in 3/8" thicknesses(cheaper when its thiner), and it is has one of the best coefficient of friction out there. I won't wax on about the chemistry here but I will say that due to its cross-linked chemical structure it is one of the toughest materials for the job.Corian
- Acrylic with aluminum oxide filler. This material is used as a counter top material with great abraision resistance and great wear life. The great thing about corian is that it can be had for free at some home depots or Lowes. They give out little 1"x1" tiles as samples and whatnot they also have a lot of neat "rocky" colors. The downside is that if you can't find it for free you have to buy it, and because of its nature being a filled material it will be a bit more costly and harder to get in small quantities.Acrylic
- as the name says it is a base polymer for Corian but it withstands abrasions and heat fairly well, acrylic is also what plexiglass is made out of. Acrylic will be cheaper than corian and more readily available at smaller quantities, but its not as durable as its cousin, corian. Delrin
-This a a very commonly used polymer for sliding gloves it has a good CoF and decent abrasion resistance, and is competitively priced. It's downfall is that it does tend to wear much quicker than the materials mentions above. I have not personally used Delrin just because when it is processed (ie Extruded) a full face mask is required, because the material will off-gas producing nauseous gases similar in effect to formaldehyde. Personal hang up I know but decent material.Polypropylene
- You guessed it, another polymer! This plastic material is generally used in applications that require more durability and toughness than a standard polyethylene. its structure is very similar to polyethylene but it has a higher melting temperature and is tougher than STANDARD PE. This material does wear down faster similar to delrin, but its a great price point material, it can be had at your local mart in the form of cutting boards.Nylon
- more polymers I know I know. Nylon's CoF is great and only rivaled by UHMWPE, yet it is harder and tends to wear slightly faster than UHMWPE. Nylon can also be found in the form of a cutting board but it is sometimes rare. Nylon may not be a great choice just because of its chemistry, its a condensation reaction polymer. A condensation reaction polymer is one that when synthesized its waste product is water (where the condensation comes from). So what this means is that given enough heat and moisture the product will degrade and return to its base "mers". For a short lived sliding glove this probably isn't that big of a deal, yet it is wise to take note of.Polycarbonate
- you may recognize the name, its the formulation for bullet proof glass. Some may say Lexan instead, although lexan is a Dupont trade name and has many different formulations. It will probably be the most expensive of the plastics to get a hold of. Its redeeming properties are having a super high melting point (300 C) and really great abrasion and impact resistance. The downside to polycarbonate is that it can sometimes be brittle, and its much harder than other materials and wont be a soft impact compared to PE or PP. Since there are so many applications of PC it is hard to find the one that will work for sliding, some are hard and brittle and will shatter when used; others are softer and will actually chunk a little and stick to the road. Its a tricky polymer to play with but some people really prefer it.
That concludes the materials section, out of the whole list here UHMWPE has the best CoF and price point for me. at $15 square foot I was sold; a square foot of any material will be enough to make a backup set of sliding pucks. Another selling point for the material is that it is very chemical resistant and used as a low friction matrix in hip implants.
The next thing is where to buy these fancy plastics? I purchased mine from Piedmont Plastics located in Charlotte NC. They have a bunch of different branches throughout the US and are very friendly this is their site Here
SO now that you have decided on sliding matrix you can move to the other parts, gloves, velcro, and way to consolidate the two. For me it was a quick trip to Walmart and Hobby lobby; I picked up a nice set of workmans gloves for $12. I then proceeded to Hobby lobby for the velcro, I purchases two packs of sew on velcro for $.99 each and then some self adhesive velcro $3.19. I wanted to sew my velcro on just because it seemed better and more reliable than using some contact cement. It also helped that I had a spool of Kevlar laying around. You can use whatever thread you want but I just thought kevlar was cooler because it has a tensile strength five times that of steel.