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  #1  
Old 02-17-2006, 06:22 PM
4arulez 4arulez is offline
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Default Does shape of ice affect melting time

Hi there..

I'm a 13 year old student who is doing a project to test if the shape of ice affects melting time. I know it does, but I don't know how to explain it.

The shapes I'm using is the normal ice cube, a star, flower and heart. Please help me.. Thank you very much..
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:43 PM
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Okay, the explanation is all about the ratio of the surface area to the volume of the ice. The surface area allows the ice to have more contact with the hotter environment, allowing the heat to transfer to the ice at that point of contact, and melt the ice. The volume is how much ice you have to melt. So the more surface area you have for each unit of ice/water, the quicker it can melt. The shape of the ice affects the amount of surface area you have.

I suggest you to keep to simple shapes where you can measure the surface area, such as different cubes/prisms, spheres, etc...

Good luck!
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:36 AM
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I am using 9ml of water for each ice cube.. Do you think it is possible for me to estimate the surface area?

The reason why I'm using the star, flower, heart shape is because I only have the moulds for these.. I'm also using a circular shape, which obviously has the greatest surface area. I'm also using the normal cube shape, to show the difference.

Thanks so much for helping!!
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:33 AM
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You've done a great job in keeping the volume of the water the same. It's all right if you can't get the exact surface area. because figuring out the surface area to volume/mass (volume and mass are the same because water has a density of one gram per milliliter) ratio is your explanation of the results you have. Try your best to estimate it. Actually, you should already know that the ice cube that melts the fastest has the most surface area. The ice cube that melts the slowest should have the least. So see if your estimations support your experiment. If it does, then that answers why you have the results you got.

Good luck!

Update me on your progress!
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:19 AM
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Okay.. Thanks..

I think that the heart shapes and all are too hard for me, I'm not THAT strong in maths.. It's probably too hard, unless my teacher or someone helps me..

I'm asking my teacher if I can switch to rectangles, squares etc since it's easier to calculate the surface area..

Thank you for your help.. I will inform you of my progress soon!
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Old 02-23-2006, 09:37 AM
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actually, if you have heart shaped molds, use them. Like I've said, you can use your results to place your shapes into which ones have the most surface area. After you've figure out that, let's say heart melts quicker than cube. you can then infer that heart has more surface area than x cm squared.
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Old 02-24-2006, 04:08 AM
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Oh.. But my teacher said I HAVE to somehow find out/estimate the surface area, so I feel I don't really have a choice about it.. Yep..

Anyway, I'm settling for a cylinder, cube, rectangular and semi circle shape.. I do have those moulds, so it shouldn't be a problem.
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