Ice, whether it’s found in large cubes, spheres, nuggets or even flakes, exists in many different types in order to serve the multiple and varied market segments in where they’re used around the world.
Although some processes may be somewhat similar in terms of manufacturing, the usage of each type of ice may provide differing advantages for your business.
Flake Ice with its diverse utility, is leading the way in terms of large-scale refrigeration.
For a quick refresher on what flake ice is, check out our earlier article on How Can Flake Ice Machines Benefit Your Food-Related Business.
Whilst more often used in food-related industries, flake ice is also widely used across many non-food industries.
Flake ice is used extensively in the healthcare industry, especially for post-op care, dietary needs, and as a treatment to reduce swelling and inflammation.
For patient hydration, flake ice is used in order to provide water to patients in the hospital who are too ill to hold a cup of water to drink.
Since it is soft enough that the patient does not have to “crunch” ice cubes, it provides an easier method of hydrating, simply by having the soft flake ice melt in the patient’s mouth. This allows the patient to receive small amounts of water throughout the day.
For physical therapy and sports medicine, flake ice is an absolute necessity for injuries involving muscle pulls and strains. It provides a more even cooling surface than other types of ice cubes, makes more contact with the injured area and provides maximum heat transfer.
Flake ice’s soft and moldable nature makes it perfect for sculpting into therapeutic ice molds or compresses that help to reduce patient swelling, numb the injury and reduce pain. They’re also easier on plastic bags compared to ice cubes that melt and become more jagged over time, increasing the chance that the patient will end up with a leaking bag.
In addition, physical therapy clinics and sport therapy clinics use flake ice on athletes to ice muscles after long training sessions and to ice chronic injuries. Some professional athletes may also use flake ice baths to decrease inflammation and improve their circulation after a grueling training session.
Besides human healthcare, flake ice is used in animal care as well. One of its common uses in animal care is to ice down racehorses’ legs after running a race.
In clinical labs and medical research facilities, flake ice is used to maintain the conditions of proteins, enzymes and other reagents during lab experiments. This is because several types of experiments and reactions require an ice bath in one or more of their steps.
The large surface area of flake ice chills quickly and allows it to maintain samples at desired temperatures. This is helpful when samples, regents, vaccines and more are moved from the refrigerator or deep freezers.
This also allows researchers to work in more comfortable conditions as small volumes of samples can be directly worked with on the bench instead of moving to refrigerated chambers.
Flake ice also securely holds test tubes and lab vials, even when the ice is melting.
Concrete is a very necessary and useful material for construction work. It is utilized in various projects, from small homemade projects up to large buildings and infrastructures. It is also used for sidewalks, basements, floors, walls, pillars and more.
Concrete is a complex material consisting of cement, sand, coarse aggregate, water and chemical admixtures (if required). After these are mixed together in the required proportions, concrete must be transported to its placement location in a proper and timely manner as this can affect the quality of the concrete.
If water evaporates from the surface of concrete, it may result in the development of cracks or reduces the concrete’s durability and strength.
Flake ice is used in the concrete cooling process to reduce the cracking of concrete and allows the mass concrete mixture to be poured at a constant and low temperature suitable for projects like hydro dams, nuclear power plants and etc.
During the concrete curing process, a lot of heat is generated so flake ice is mixed into the mixture to maintain a stable low temperature at the desired level while the concrete cures for specific construction projects. If the temperature of the concrete mix is not regulated, it can compromise the structural integrity of the project and cause costly downtimes.
In addition, flake ice melts quickly into the concrete mix and leaves no large ice particles or voids. It is also the ideal choice when concrete production has to be delayed for various reasons due to its adhesiveness and longer life.
Zoos and Aquariums
As an unlikely application for flake ice machines, a number of wildlife parks, zoos and aquariums use them to produce huge quantities of ice to provide an ideal environment for cold weather animals.
Flake ice is packable, which offers a distinct advantage in its application because it allows trainers and zoo keepers to form pack ice that simulates the natural environment for polar bears, penguins and other animals that naturally thrive in sub-Arctic temperatures. This provides them a comfortable habitat in which they can play, sleep and eat.
Flake ice has seen a history of success in enclosures for penguins, polar bears and even sea lions at zoos around the world especially when measured in terms of the animals’ observed health, behaviour and reproduction.
However, it’s not only the cold weather animals that enjoy flake ice. Monkeys, for example, love the cool sensation from flake ice, and in the hot summer months, all types of animals enjoy ice as a way to keep cool.
Chemical and Dye Making
The chemical and dye making industries are finding an ever-growing need for large quantities of ice in their chemical mixing and reaction procedures.
Flake Ice is used to control the temperature of chemicals during a reaction, add water to a process while cooling or to cool quickly in order to stop a timed reaction.
Adding ice to a solution subjects it to a much large surface area, lowers temperatures quicker and maintains better control. Ice can be used continuously or at specific times during batch processing as required.
Flake ice is now being used in:
- Organic dyes
- Manufacturing heat sensitive paper coatings
- Dye processing
The ski industry is one of the main economic activities for many mountain regions worldwide. However, the industry itself is highly dependent on natural snowfall and climatic conditions, and greatly affected by global warming.
As a result of varying snowfall, ski resorts have resorted to using flake ice as “artificial snow” to make-up for the insufficient snow cover.
This technique produces dry and highly fragmented flake ice that is sprayed in the form of tiny crystals onto the ski slopes to form the snow pack and allows the use of snow guns even if the outdoors temperature is above freezing.
Many ski resorts now opt for this solution in order to fulfill their scheduled opening and closing dates without depending on natural snowfall.
LOOKING FOR AN ICE FLAKE MAKER?
We have an entire range of Ice Flake Makers to suit various requirements. They are designed to produce ice flakes with a capacity ranging from 30kg/24hrs to 200kg/24hrs coupled with rapid cooling speeds.
Made from high quality stainless steel, they are anti-corrosive and durable.
For more information, check out our Ice Flakes Makers.
Or drop us a line if you have any questions.