When the organisers of February's Nokia Snowboard World Cup needed 1,500 litres of snow in the middle of Turin, there was only one place they could turn.

Event sponsor, Rivoira were happy to oblige, and with 180 tonnes of liquid nitrogen and some specialist equipment, the exhibition in the middle of the city became a snowboarder's winter wonderland.

Rivoria used a combination of water, compressed air, liquid nitrogen and a special gun to make the snow, whilst visitors enjoyed warm Italian temperatures of around 12°c. The gun mixture is designed by Polaris and uses air compressed to 8 bars with water compressed to 7 bars. Shortly before the mixture of water/air leaves the mouth of the gun, it is sprayed with liquid nitrogen at a pressure of 8 bars at nearly -196°c.

The liquid nitrogen has two effects: first the mixture of water/air condenses in tiny drops which is important to make good quality snow, and second it creates the necessary decrease in temperature for the water drops to crystallise. The result is snow to the standard of the best mountain resorts, which can be made to various levels of compactness, by simply changing the parameters of injection of the three fluids inside the gun.

This technology renders every type of exhibition possible on the snow, but also the simulation of extreme conditions for automotive tests.