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Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

(OP)
I need to make an 8.00”x16.00”x2.70” ice block and need to control the ~9% expansion so that the ice block is a uniform as possible with a standard chest freezer. Using a stainless container as a mold with the top open and an Aluminum weight to hold it down, will make a silicone liner so that the ice can be removed from the mold. I’ve tried insulated the container on all sides and bottom but the center area still bulges out more than I want. Any ideas on how I can get a uniform ice block with an even flat top surface.

Forgot to add that I need to make 20 of these, so layering or multistep processing becomes a lot more time and labor which I like to avoid.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Why not machine, shave/plane, or melt back the bulge after freezing? The ice has to expand somewhere, you have fixed the external edges so it will bulge in the middle

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Make the top bulge down a bit while it is still water then remove the top and let it bulge upwards. Is that picture a solid core surrounded by ice cold water or clear ice?

Our maybe just fill it and freeze it in small layers? So add say 1" water to start with, let it freeze and bulge then slowly add more water with less and less each time so it fils the edges more and can't bulge as much?

Remember - More details = better answers
Also: If you get a response it's polite to respond to it.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Boiling the water first will help eliminate air.
Fill the container completely and freeze in layers, like Little inch says, and let the expansion drain off the level edges.
Freeze slowly. Layer by layer.
Keep a hair drier handy to melt off upward bulges.




A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

The ice is freezing first from the outer edges in contact with the metal container and the freeze front travels inwards, which is why the trapped water in the centre has nowhere to expand but outward. How about insulating the metal sides so that freezing occurs uniformly by contact with cold air at the top ?

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

You might try a top with 2" diameter holes drilled through. Expansion will occur through the holes, like the old frozen glass milk bottles left on the doorstop every morning. Yes, the milkman delivered fresh milk daily at 5am. (Those were the days when we knew what service really meant. I'll tell you about the bread man someday too.) The frozen milk pushed off the paper bottletops and expanded upwards in a nice little column, never exploding the glass bottles. The expansion columns could easily be leveled.

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Try Google and YouTube. There are lots of instructions and videos available. The process to get clear ice is actually quite complex. Water is most dense at 4C and ice floats. Dissolved air and minerals must be allowed to stay and concentrate in circulating water as the ice block grows. Water must never become encapsulated by ice or else it will break the ice as it freezes and expands (the reason for the bulging top). If you freeze all of a given quantity of water, the last part to freeze will have defects and has to be cut off.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Oops, looks you've already tried insulating the sides of this steel container.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

I'd just get some commercial blocks of ice that exceed the dimensions you need then use a gas or electric chainsaw to cut them to the exact dimensions you want.

They come clear up to 300lb blocks.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

To eliminate the trapped liquid pool in the centre of the block, how about this:
Fill the container with small ice cubes up to say 70-80% of the height required. Then top up with ice cold water to the level required. Shake the container to release any trapped air. Insulate all sides, including the top before freezing.
Would be better if you have some kind of temp control in the freezer that maintains temp at just a few degC below freezing (say -5degC?), rather than the run of the mill domestic freezer which runs at -20degC.
Use water with low dissolved minerals, preferably de ionised water.

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

@OP,

georgeverghese has some great ideas. combine with the proposal to do the filling in steps levelling out any bulges with the last pouring. Pay atention to the details (the water must be very cold, de-ionised and shake to release air.

Best regards, Morten

--- Best regards, Morten Andersen

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

In past years, ice cube trays were made of aluminum. So instead of a stainless steel container which could be too rigid, think of aluminum

RE: Ice block with uniform size in a chest freezer

Disposable?

A black swan to a turkey is a white swan to the butcher ... and to Boeing.

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