Whether you"re looking at to run a science experiment, heat the inside of her cooler or just looking for something to keep ice from melt you might consider aluminum foil and whether or no it have the right to keep ice cream from melting.

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Aluminum silver paper does assist keep ice from melting but it"s no the most effective insulator and also will only extend ice retention slightly. Aluminum foil reflects heat radiation which helps store ice longer however it conducts heat easily. That is finest used to complement a cooler and make it job-related better, not provided by itself.In an experiment ns ran ice preserved inside 1 class of aluminum foil lasted longer than ice without any kind of insulation and ice preserved in 3 class of aluminum silver paper laster longer than ice in simply a solitary layer. So the aluminum foil certainly stops ice cream from melting as quickly.

My Experiment

In the above experiment you have the right to see ns took 10 pieces of ice straight from my freezer. These ice cream cubes to be 0ºF (-18ºF) indigenous the freezer.I put 10 piece of ice in a bowl through no insulationI put 10 piece of ice and wrapped castle in 1 layer of aluminum foilI inserted 10 pieces of ice and wrapped them in 3 class of aluminum foilAfter 1.5 hrs I came back to check the results.
No insulation is top top the left, 1 layer of aluminum foil is in the center and also 3 great of aluminum silver paper is top top the rightYou can clearly see that also a single layer that aluminum foil quit the ice cream from melting as quickly and also 3 layers worked even far better than 1 layer.So why walk this work?

How walk Aluminum Foil store Ice native Melting?

To understand how aluminum silver paper stops ice cream from melting you need to understand how warmth transfer happens.Ice melts when warm from the outside is transferred to the ice cream warming the up and also causing it come melt. Heat is transferred in 3 different ways

1. Conduction (Moving v a heavy object) – Conduction is where heat moves through a solid thing or native one thing to another. For example placing a pan ~ above a warm stove the warmth from the cooktop moves with the pan making the hot.2. Convection (Flowing native one ar to another) – Convection is when warmth flows from one location to another. For example when a pan heater blows warm air roughly the room or as soon as you put hot water in the bath and also push that warm water into a cold section.3. Warm Radiation – heat radiation is likewise know as infrared radiation and also this form of heat have the right to move v a vacuum. If the above 2 methods require matter (air, liquid, solid) in bespeak for warmth to it is in transferred heat radiation doesn"t call for matter.

So just how does aluminum foil keep ice from melt by stopping warm transfer?


Aluminum foil reflects 97% of warm radiation and also it stops heat air flowing over her ice melt it faster. Multiple layers of aluminum foil catch air pockets which also stop heat conducting through to your ice as conveniently keeping it frozen for even longer.Let"s break the down…Aluminum silver paper is a great reflector of warmth radiation. In fact, it shows up come 97% of heat radiation and is among the most effective materials for showing this type of heat. Copper is also very effective in ~ reflecting heat radiation.However, being a metal and also being super slim aluminum foil is a good conductor of heat. This means heat can pass v the foil yes, really easily. So exterior heat have the right to move with the foil to her ice and warm it up reasonably quickly.This provides it bad for keeping ice frozen because that a long duration of time specifically if the is touching something hot as the warm will pass directly through it.Lastly, aluminum foil is impermeable – meaning air and also water can"t circulation through it. Therefore if girlfriend wrap increase ice favor I did in my experiment no heat air can circulation over your ice making the melt faster.I"ve obtained a full post on if aluminum foil is a an excellent insulator for even more details into just how aluminum works to trap warm or keep warmth out.

What Is The Best means To keep Ice native Melting utilizing Aluminum Foil


While you deserve to use aluminum foil by itself to store ice from melting it"s not the many effective way to usage it together the high conductivity that the silver paper is always going to median the ice melts relatively quickly.It"s finest to use aluminum foil in mix with part other type of insulator the stops heat transfer through conduction.This is why insulating products like Reflectix integrate aluminum (to reflect heat) and bubble pave or foam (to stop heat conduction). It"s the mix of the 2 species of insulation the works most effectively.What you want to execute is have your ice preserved inside an insulating container or cooler and then wrap that container in aluminum foil. Ideally you execute NOT desire to aluminum silver paper to be emotional the ice which we will comment on below.Lining the inside of a cooler v aluminum foil will certainly slightly rise the performance of the cooler because of the reflective features of the aluminum foil, yet you"ll additionally have the conductivity working against you therefore the improvements to ice retention will certainly be small.

Lining the outside of a cooler v aluminum foil gives you the services of the reflective high quality of the aluminum but doesn"t offer you the conductivity concerns you have actually with aluminum straight touching ice and also making it melt an ext quickly. So in its entirety you"ll gain a much better result.The cooler stops heat transfer by avoiding convection and also conduction – it"s really an excellent at this. But virtually no plastic or styrofoam coolers reflect warm radiation.Click below to learn exactly how to do a reflectix cooler sheathe to store your ice from melting even longer of clock the video clip below:
By lining your cooler through aluminum foil you"ll gain the benefits of the cooler as an insulator but you"ll also add the reflective properties of the aluminum come reflect far most warm radiation.

If girlfriend don"t have actually a cooler then place your ice in a plastic container or plunder the container in aluminum foil and also wrap it every in a towel because that insulation and your ice will last much longer.

Will ice cream Melt quicker On Aluminum or Plastic?

Because aluminum deserve to stop ice from melting you might think the ice would melt slower on aluminum that on other surfaces like plastic or wood, but the the contrary is in reality true.Ice will melt much much faster on aluminum 보다 plastic. This is since aluminum conducts heat extremely well. The warmth of the aluminum block flows easily into the ice cream cube melt it if plastic is poor conductor for this reason does not transport much heat to the ice cube leading it to melt slower.Below you have the right to see the amazing an outcome and just how much quicker ice melts top top aluminum vs on a plastic foam block.
This deserve to be a really fun experiment come do because when girlfriend touch the aluminum it feels cold even at room temperature. This leader you to think the ice will last much longer on the block, vice versa, in fact the the opposite is trueIt feels cold since the heat of your hand is rapidly carried out into the aluminum. Also though it"s room temperature because the aluminum takes warmth from her hand really quickly your brain assumes this method it"s cold even when the isn"t.There space a variety of other videos reflecting very similar results.The video below compares ice on one aluminum key to the on a block of wood:
Stainless steel isn"t together conductive together aluminum for this reason the outcomes are less extreme, yet it"s still obvious that the ice melts a lot much faster in the metal bowl 보다 it does in the plastic bowl.

Why Does ice Melt faster on Aluminum 보다 Plastic?

It have the right to be pretty surprising just how much quick ice melts top top aluminum 보다 it does on plastic. But why does this happen?Ice melts quicker on aluminum 보다 plastic since aluminum is terrific heat conductor whereas plastic isn"t. This way room temperature aluminum quickly transfers warm from itself into the ice cream cube melting it. Plastic does not move much warm at all keeping the ice cream frozen for longer.While an aluminum block might feel cold to touch this is just since it conducts heat away from your body so quickly that that tricks your mind and your mind perceives it as cold also though the isn"t.Room temperature aluminum includes a lot of of warm (compared come ice) and also because this heat can be easily transferred come the ice cream the ice will certainly melt incredibly quickly.Room temperature plastic may contain a comparable amount of warmth but due to the fact that it"s an insulator it"s not very an excellent at moving all that warm into the ice cube so the ice cream cube will certainly melt slower.
Ryan McLeanI"m Ryan McLean, the man behind The Cooler Box. I very first got obsessed through coolers over 4 years back when i was renovating my campervan obtaining ready to travel the nation with my family and I want to know exactly how to keep whatever cold on the road.Most but on the weekend you"ll find me at the beach or off on part random adventure. Yet when I"m no I"m below writing around coolers, water bottles and also other cool equipment to make her adventures even better. I love researching the recent products and also answering people"s questions about them.

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Over the last couple of years The Cooler Box has grown to come to be one the the most substantial websites ~ above insulated products and other cool gear. friend can likewise check the end my YouTube Channel where I carry out ice retention tests and product reviews or you deserve to follow me on Instagram and also see what I"m up to.→ Ryan McLean