NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ890399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
The Freezing Bomb
Mills, Allan
Physics Education, v45 n2 p153-157 Mar 2010
The extreme pressures that are generated when water freezes were traditionally demonstrated by sealing a small volume in a massive cast iron "bomb" and then surrounding it with a freezing mixture of ice and salt. This vessel would dramatically fail by brittle fracture, but no quantitative measurement of bursting pressure was available. Calculation suggests a maximum of about 55 MPa (8000 psi) might have been achieved, with some 2.3% of the water frozen into a hollow shell around the interior of the vessel. In a sufficiently strong alloy steel container the pressure might rise to a maximum of 210 MPa (30 460 psi), this limiting figure being due to the collapse of ordinary ice (ice I) to the denser forms ice II or ice III. (Contains 6 figures and 2 footnotes.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A