How Do Reusable Ice Cubes Work?
| Reuben Howe
The heat has been enough to shut down Freeview for the past couple of weeks, so it’s not surprise Ice Cube trays and bags of the stuff itself are starting to see their annual surge. However, using traditional water ice is becoming less and less viable due to cost of living and water usage, as well as the underlying fact that no one wants watered down drinks!
Wanting a fast freeze, but a slow and even cooling effect while also not taking up too much freezer space and adding to a water or grocery bill are all concerns that can be answered with the latest reusable ice cubes!
What are reusable ice cubes?
A reusable ice cube is a cube made from food safe metal, which is lowered to freezing temperatures just like you would with water in an ice cube tray. They are commonly stainless steel and have a secret scientific gel in the middle (more on that later…).
The cubes are water-free, reusable and due to the materials are rust / corrosion-free too. This all means easier, cheaper and more efficient cooling for your drinks with absolutely 0 change in taste or chance of diluting!
What is inside a stainless-steel ice cube?
As we hinted at, stainless steel reusable ice cubes aren’t actually just stainless-steel cubes. The best reusable ice-cubes are in fact hollow. The stainless-steel casing houses a hollow centre which is filled with another substance entirely…
Inside the cubes is a gel, partway between a liquid and solid that is designed specifically to regulate temperature. The gel can freeze and unfreeze exceptionally well and absorb far more cold for far longer than steel alone.
Essentially, the steel is conducting the cold into the gel which stores it and keep the exterior steel freezing even once removed from the freezer!
How do gel ice cubes really work?
This section is going to get a little more technical and is by no means required to properly use your stainless-steel ice cubes! However, the science of reusable ice is based around a pretty technical concept that is worth going over:
What is Thermal Conductivity?
Thermal Conductivity is the scientific metric that makes reusable ice cubes work! In the same way that a piece of wire is “conductive” for electricity, materials are also conductive for heat. The energy is passed through the object and into surrounding areas / other objects just like with electricity.
In the case of heat, energy is passed from high temperature areas to low temperature areas, spreading the heat until the two areas are equal in temperature. That might sound like an advanced way of saying it, but it’s basically an explanation of the term “room temperature”.
The reason a cup of drink will become “room temperature” is that the air and the drink are constantly exchanging energy, until they become equal. A hot cup of coffee heats the nearby air and the air in turn cools the coffee!
So, how does all that affect reusable ice cubes?
Well, when the freezing steel is placed in a drink it begins being warmed up by the liquid, but to do that the liquid becomes very cold in turn from the cubes (Just like the air and coffee).
What about the scientific gel inside?
This is where things get more technical, as the gel inside the steel is designed with a very specific Thermal Conductivity. The gel can conduct heat at exactly the right speed, with a limited capacity to be warmed up. This results in ice cubes that warm up very, very slowly as the gel inside is constantly releasing more and more cold. Thermal Conductivity is set for each material on earth, and so can be reliably chosen for each situation like this.
(If you want to really explore thermal conductivity, there is a great table here on Engineering ToolBox that shows the conductivity of many materials)
Can Steel Ice Cubes Break Glasses?
While it may seem dangerous to put a steel cube into a glass, the design is deliberately sculpted to be safe for glasses. The edges are completely smoothed, and the hollow nature of the cubes makes them much lighter than you expect. While we can’t advocate dropping one into a glass from great height, they are perfectly safe to place on the bottom of a glass with the included serving tongs.
The tongs allow you to move the steel ice cubes without freezing part of your finger! And in addition, the tongs allow safe placement inside glasses. Not to mention that the tongs ensure the ice cubes remain food safe and hygienic on their way from freezer to glass.
Daffodil Reusable Ice Cubes and Tray with Serving Tongs
We took all this raw science and used it to create the best reusable ice cubes possible, with exact Thermal Conductivity and hollow gel design keeping drinks cooler for longer. Not only that, but the thermal conductivity means you can have ice-cold steel cubes in under 3 hours! These cubes are reusable, efficient, and energy-saving every step of the way.
View Reusable Ice Cubes
Now you’ve had your deep dive into reusable ice cubes you can pick up an 8 pack of our MIC108 stainless-steel ice cubes with gel filling, ice-cube tray and serving tongs to make sure you’re ready not just for one day of summer, but all of them!