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Author Topic: Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?  (Read 11574 times)

Page Barbalena

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Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?
« on: 26/04/2010 11:30:03 »
Page Barbalena  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
After leaving my ice trays untouched for several months in the freezer, the ice cubes decrease in size dramatically.

I thought that when water freezes it increases in size, decreasing its density?  

So what's up with my little ice cubes??

thank you guys. I love the podcast..listen to it every week.   =)
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 26/04/2010 11:30:03 by _system »


 

Offline Geezer

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Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?
« Reply #1 on: 27/04/2010 01:30:48 »
Your ice cubes are suffering from "freezer burn". The ice on the surface of the cubes slowly evaporates. I suppose if you leave them there long enough, they'll disappear completely.

If you can get your hands on some of those plastic bags that you fill with water to make ice cubes, you won't have the problem.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2010 03:01:08 »
Yes, it's called 'sublimation'- molecules of water jump off the ice due to thermal motion and collect on the walls of the freezer without melting.
 

Offline Ivan L.Smith

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Re: Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2016 07:07:38 »
when sublimation is going to start, the air should be energized which is around the ice , move sufficient heat and excite the molecules in the ice  to reach its maximum heat capacity in its solid and gas states.  To break the bonds holding the ice together require maximum heat capacity and fastly  heat it till a gaseous state.
 This  process occurs in frost-free freezers as they oftenly heat the air, which generates an situation for sublimation to occur.  Ice-free freezers have a heating coil enfold among its freezer coils. After every 6 hrs, the freezer make it  on its heating coils to melt the frost that is present  on the freezer coils. When the temperature starts  to increase above 32 F, or zero C, the timer of the freezer shuts off the heater automatically.In the meanwhile of  this procedure,  the hot air created by the heaters warms the air around  the ice. Thus it builds  the top layer of frost hot enough to fastly sublimate, else to convert from ice to gas.  The ice loses its volume or diminishes  to a smaller size.
 

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Re: Why do my ice cubes shrink in the freezer?
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2016 07:07:38 »

 

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