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Curling Material Mystery

Curling is an elegant sport in the Winter Olympics, but it is very unfamiliar to many people.

Over the past few hundred years, curling has developed from a game that Scots entertained to an official event of the Winter Olympics. The appearance, venue and rules of curling have all changed a lot. The material used to make it remains the same. What exactly is this for? What hidden stories are hidden behind curling?

Curling originated in Scotland, and was translated as “ice skating” when it was first introduced to my country. .

As early as the early 16th century, Scots used to play the game of bouldering on smooth ice, especially among young women. Early curling games used flat-bottomed stones. There was no fixed standard for size and shape, or the smoothness of the stones, and the winner depended more on luck. In the mid-16th century, the earliest curling competitions appeared. In the 18th century, curling was introduced to North America with British immigrants. In 1838, the sport had formal rules of competition: the two sides took turns throwing curling in a fixed field to make it as close as possible to the center of the base camp, and the distance from the center of the circle was scored. In the end, the one with the most points won. The curling game is full of strategy and tactics – on the field, some people hold their breath to push the curling ball towards the goal, some people keep rubbing the ice surface in front of the moving curling with a brush, and some people burst out hysterical shouts from time to time. This glamorous and noble, elegant and passionate game is called “The Roaring Game”, and some people praise it as “chess on ice”.

In 1924, at the first Winter Olympics held in Chamonix, France, curling made its first appearance as a performance item; since then, it has appeared in the Winter Olympics many times; until the 18th Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan in 1998, It has officially become a competition event.

Curling not only needs to be carried out on specially designed sports venues, but also requires professional equipment, including curling balls, brushes and shoes, which are made of special materials, especially curling balls. The curling ball is actually a stone pot, in the shape of an oblate shape with a handle at the top. Its circumference is not more than 91.44 cm, its height is not less than 11.43 cm, and its total weight is between 17.24 and 19.96 kg. The stone used is a special kind of stone. granite.

Speaking of granite, everyone is not unfamiliar. It is the main component of the continental crust. It is a rock formed by condensation in the depths of the earth’s crust without being ejected from the underground magma when it invades upward. It is known as the “king of rocks”. It is mainly composed of quartz, feldspar and a small amount of biotite. It is composed of other minerals, in which the content of quartz is more than 20%, which is usually light red, light gray or grayish white. Over a long period of geological history, granite is gradually exposed as the overlying rock is denuded. There are many beautiful natural landscapes in the world known for their granite landforms, such as Yosemite National Park in the United States, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Huashan in Shaanxi, Sanqingshan in Jiangxi, Huangshan and Tianzhushan in Anhui, etc. Granite has a uniform structure, solid texture and beautiful color. It is an important architectural decorative stone in our lives. The indoor floors of many buildings, the curbs of pedestrian crossings and the landscape statues in parks are often made of granite.

There are many kinds of granite, such as biotite granite, muscovite granite, dimica granite, amphibole granite, etc. There are certain differences in mineral composition and physical properties between different types. If the granite contains more quartz, its strength will be higher; if it contains more mica, the strength will be greatly reduced. Mica is a layered silicate mineral containing potassium, aluminum, magnesium, iron, lithium and other metal elements. It is soft in texture and has a Mohs hardness of only 2 to 3. Its crystal form is usually plate-like or flake-like. The cleavage is peeled into very thin slices, and the thickness of the slices is only 0.025 to 0.125 mm. Because it is easy to split, it will drop slag when it is touched, so it will affect the mechanical strength of granite.

16 kilometers off the coast of South Ayrshire, Scotland, there is an uninhabited island called Elsa Craig. The island is 1.2 kilometers long and 0.8 kilometers wide. The highest point is 340 meters above sea level. The island is covered with granite. Not only do these granites have extremely low water absorption to resist the erosion damage caused by repeated freezing, but they also contain no mica, making them resistant to repeated violent collisions without breaking. These excellent physical properties make it the best stone for curling. Therefore, since 1851, Elsa Craig has been the source of raw materials for curling, and Scotland has the most advanced curling in the world. Manufacturing techniques, from quarrying, grinding, polishing to installation, go through a complete set of exquisite processes to produce the highest quality curling. In these links, except for mining, all other links need to be done manually. It is reported that a set of curling takes 5 skilled workers 3 days to complete. There are no two identical rough curling stones in the world, and in the process of curling, it is necessary to rely on the hands and eyes of workers, and at the same time, it needs to rely on rich experience and hand feel. Therefore, curling is expensive, and the cost of each is usually 1. RMB 10,000 or more. However, although curling is expensive, it is a one-time investment, and a curling can be used for a lifetime. At present, most of the curling used in international competitions is produced on the Isle of Elsa Craig, with a small number from the small town of Trevor in Gwyneth, Wales, England.

Although curling does not require high physical strength for athletes, and does not require physical contact and collision, it is very suitable as a national sport, but it has extremely high requirements on sports venues and sports equipment and is expensive, making it difficult for it to enter the public. Life. Is this really true?

As early as 2010, some media pointed out the shortcomings of my country’s curling sport under the title “China has not kept up with the cold-made curling project of raw materials”. Mica-containing granite is also widely distributed in my country. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Guangxi and other places are rich in it. Just because the popularity of curling in my country is very low, there is basically no consumer market, so no enterprises have thought of using them to make curling.

In order to better popularize curling sports, the China Curling Association recruited relevant units in 2017 to jointly carry out the promotion activities of land curling projects, and develop simulated curling tracks and simulated curling. The size of the track and curling are based on the ice curling competition and are scaled down. The track is 20.5 meters long, 3.6 meters wide, and the base camp is 2.4 meters in diameter. The track is made of polymer material, and it only needs to add ice skating fluid to achieve the same effect as the ice surface of professional competitions. Produced from granite, the resulting curls are very similar to those used in professional competitions, but are smaller and cost significantly less.

Slide the curling off the ice to land, lower the threshold, and play a new trick. Novel and interesting land curling has gradually become a popular new sports fashion.

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