Concept

Ice cube

Summary
An ice cube is a small piece of ice, which is typically rectangular as viewed from above and trapezoidal as viewed from the side. Ice cubes are products of mechanical refrigeration and are usually produced to cool beverages. They may be produced at home in a freezer with an ice tray or in an automated ice-making accessory. They may also be produced industrially and sold commercially. American physician and inventor John Gorrie built a refrigerator in 1844 with the purpose of producing ice to cool air. His refrigerator produced ice which hung from the ceiling in a basin to lower the ambient room temperature. During his time, bad air quality was thought to cause disease. Therefore, in order to help prevent and treat sickness, he pushed for the draining of swamps and the cooling of sickrooms. Ice cube trays are designed to be filled with water, then placed in a freezer until the water freezes into ice, producing ice cubes. Ice trays are often flexible, so the frozen cubes can be easily removed by flexing the tray. "Twist ice trays" have a simple spring-loaded mechanism with a lever that is used to turn the tray upside down and flex at the same time, such that the cubes that drop are collected in a removable tray below. The spring returns the ice cube tray to its upright position without having to remove it from the freezer, which can save time and reduces accidental mess—though the tray has to be removed to be collected, and the ice cube tray still has to be removed to be refilled. An alternative system is an aluminium tray with a lever that raises the ice cubes, freeing them from the tray. A motorized version of this is found in most automatic ice-making freezers. While the usual shape of the ice cube is roughly cubical, some ice trays form hemispherical or cylindrical shapes; others produce blocks of ice in seasonal, festive or other shapes. Occasionally, edible items are frozen inside the ice cubes, both at home and in commercial production.
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