Traveling at the Speed of Melting

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by mrfscience
Last updated 6 years ago


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Traveling at the Speed of Melting

Does the shape of an ice cube affect how quickly it will melt?I predict that ice cubes with more intricate shapes and more surface area will melt faster because the more surface area an ice cube has, the more contact area it will have with the air, which is warmer in temperature and will cause faster melting.

Experimental Question

3 Ikea ice cube trays (Star, Heart, Fish)1 Normal ice cube trayWater to fill ice cube traysFreezerPlastic Wrap4 Small glass bowlsKitchen Scale4 Rubber bandsKnife or other sharp objectRulerSharpie/markerCameraGrid Paper


Traveling at the Speed of Melting


1) Fill ice cube trays with water and put in freezer overnight.2) Using the grid paper to map out drain holes, prepare cups with platics wrap for ice cubes to sit on during the experiement.3) Remove ice cube trays at the same time.4.1) Immediately place one of each shaped ice cube on one prepared cup with plastic wrap.4.2) As soon as possible, use kitchen scale to weigh one of each shape of ice cube before melting occurs. Record weights in data table.5) Take pictures of ice cubes every 5 minutes to capture melting visually.6) As ice cubes melt, make sure melted water drains away from ice cubes to prevent insulation.7) Record time in which each ice cube is completely melted.


Because the regular ice cube was a much different weight than the other 3 ice cubes, it's melting time could not be compared to the other ice cubes. I did not use it's data in my conclusion.


The data show that my prediction that ice cubes with more intricate designs would melt faster was correct. The star, having the most intricate design of the three Ikea ice cubes, melted the fastest taking 11 minutes per gram to melt with a total melting time of 1 hour 50 minutes. The fish, having an intricate tail but consolidated body, took 11.5 min per gram to melt with a total melting time of 1 hour 55 minutes. Finally, the heart, having the most consolidated design, melted slowest taking 11.7 minutes per gram to melt with a total melting time of 2 hours 20 minutes. In conclusion, this shows that the ice cube with the most intricate designs melt faster than ice cubes with compact and consolidated designs.


This discovery is important to me and how to keep my drinks cold. I know I will be using less intricate shapes to keep my drinks colder for longer.


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