Ice isn’t just for chilling our drinks and icing up our coolers. It has many industrial uses as well. It is important in numerous industries such as chemical, rubber, cement, and oil. Sometimes as dry ice, or sometimes as water ice in specific forms, ice has explicit uses.
Healthcare Industry Lives on Ice
The Healthcare industry uses ice in different forms for special needs. It is used in rehabilitation areas for ice baths and cold compresses. Dry ice is used to make cold caps for chemotherapy patients. Transportation of necessary medications or transportation of organs for transplantation requires ice packs.
The oil industry uses dry ice to clean tanks. The dry ice is combined with other required chemicals to clean the bottom of tanks from deposits and paraffin. The process allows the deposits to separate, then the oil and paraffin are saved.
Chemical Manufacturing Industry
Without ice, the chemical industry would have literally blown up. Ice is used to slow-cool or completely stop certain chemical reactions. Some of those chemicals that need a “cooling bath” of either dry ice or water ice would include certain salts, dioxane, benzyl alcohol or acetone. Often flake ice is used in labs. At times, the ice is used as a neutralizer for chemicals. Alkalis are neutralized using ice. As far as the transportation of chemicals, ice is often a necessity.
Can’t Make Rubber Without Dry Ice
The value of ice in the industrial world has a bit to do with its ability to shrink things. It can be preferred over water, and that is why the rubber industry uses it. When molding hot rubber, they use dry ice in a barrel with rubber parts. This makes the removal of the flash easy because it makes the flash brittle and shrinks the rubber. Nugget ice will shrink fittings, helping metals and rubbers fit into necessary bearings or sleeves.
Did you know that the cement manufacturers need cold cement to make bridges? It is easy to alter the water process or remove Btu from hot cement by adding hydration. Either way, that chilling effect is important to manufacturing cold concrete. Dry ice is also used similarly to cool asphalt in certain applications.
Some Fishy Uses for Ice
When it comes to the fishing industry, dry ice and water ice are both used to get fresh catches from the ocean to your plate. Dry ice, block ice, flake ice, scale ice or nugget ice may all be used at particular parts of the journey to the restaurant or store.
Food, Furniture, and More!
In the service industry, little tricks with ice come in handy. Flooring specialists and furniture stores use ice to remove dents in carpeting by simply letting some ice melt in a dent then brushing it up. Tile and flooring artisans use ice cubes along a difficult caulk line to get the line nice and smooth. Even your local dry cleaner may use ice to remove sticky items from clothing; something they will try before using a chemical. Your auto body specialist may use dry ice to remove a dent from your car.
How Are You Using Ice?
Ice isn’t just for chilling your drink or the items on the local salad bar. Ice is part of your everyday life in ways that you never imagined. So sit back and enjoy your iced tea knowing that the little cube in the bottom of your glass can do some pretty big jobs.
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