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Author Topic: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?  (Read 4257 times)

Offline crimsonknight3

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Hi there, my daughter was born on december 26th and we recently just had our first snow in England, so i grabbed a snowball and popped it in the freezer as her first snow, a nice little memory. I am wondering if there is a way of preserving the snowball permanently for it to be on display. I know you can preserve ice/snow crystal on a microscope slide but i want to preserve the whole ball. I know you can make liquid acetate but to be at a temperature low enough not to melt the snow the acetate would harden, and then theres the moisture that would also effect the snow. Thank you :)


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?
« Reply #1 on: 23/01/2013 20:50:52 »
If you can keep it permanently below 0C, it will remain a snowball indefinitely.
You just need to take it our of the freezer every time you want to display it ( and the surface will melt a bit more)... and hope the AC power doesn't fail!

There may be chemicals which can raise the melting point closer to room temperature, while still looking like snow, but it would not be the original snowball. Something like a gel will do this, but to make the gel, you must melt the snowball. You still need to keep it cool, to slow the water evaporating out of the gel.

How about:
  • Make a clay mould of the snowball, and then mould something like icing sugar or PVA glue to make it look like a snowball?
  • Take a photo of the snowball next to your daughter, and then frame it?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?
« Reply #2 on: 23/01/2013 21:11:42 »
If you have auto-defrost in your freezer, you may loose your snowball over time.
If you don't have auto-defrost in your freezer, it may grow over time.

It may help to put it in a vacuum pack bag.

Could you make a cast of it with something like superglue?  A LOT OF IT!!!  Then, if it melts, and/or the water leaks out, it would still retain its form. 

I'm not seeing a lot of small freezers, although there are some refrigerators the size of a soda can.  This is supposed to be about 1/2 cubic foot capacity.

 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?
« Reply #3 on: 20/03/2013 05:40:44 »
It occurred to me that you might electroplate it,  but I don't know any electroplating solution that functions below 0 C.  Even if there were, there is the risk of dissolution by simple dissolvement. Then there is the option of spraying it with a lacquer of some kind, but again, you would need a very unusual formulation that would function below 0 C. I wonder if there is any kind of epoxy resin that would be workable at that temperature.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2013 08:00:13 »
Take a photo of the snowball next to your daughter, and then frame it?

You've missed a twist : if they you know anyone who still has a "wet" photographic darkroom,
use the melt-water from the snowball to produce the photographic print.

Weirder photos have been taken to commemorate a birth ... http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/2012/12/22/the-red-sea/ [xx(]  :)


... I wonder if there is any kind of epoxy resin that would be workable at that temperature.

Setting Epoxy resin is exothermic: it can become very hot if you're too generous when adding the the hardener.
« Last Edit: 20/03/2013 08:15:05 by RD »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Is there a way of permanently preserving a snow ball?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2013 08:00:13 »

 

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