How Does Dry Ice Work?

Dry ice is quite unlike any other form of ice you will find in the world. While regular ice is made of water that has frozen, dry ice is actually made of carbon dioxide gas that has been supercooled. This gives it some interesting properties that have made it popular for party tricks and visual effects for many years.

From Gas to Solid and Back

Unlike other substances that change from a gas to a liquid, and then from a liquid to a solid as they cool down, CO2 does not follow this format. Instead, CO2 turns to solid blocks of dry ice when it is cooled. Then, as it warms up, the ice does not melt to a liquid. Instead, it turns straight back into CO2 gas. This process is known as sublimation.

The Visual

As sublimation happens on the surface of the dry ice block, it creates an interesting visual effect. While we cannot normally see CO2 gas in our environment, this cold CO2 gas gives off tiny white tendrils that look like fog. This foggy effect can be used to fill rooms, or simply to provide spooky ground cover for a haunted house. As the fog moves outwards from the original source, it begins to thin out and become hazier, but you can still observe the gas as it rolls and bubbles along. There are a lot of fun experiments with dry ice, but its primary purpose is for commercial use.

What is Dry Ice Used For?

So far we’ve talked about dry ice as it is used for visual effects, but you may be surprised to find that there are many dry ice facts related to other industries. For instance, dry ice is often used for shipping items that need to stay cold because it does a better job of keeping things very cold, and because it doesn’t melt and get the packaging wet. When kept in a mostly sealed container with only small vents, a single piece of dry ice can last significantly longer than regular ice. This ease of transport has also made it very useful for traveling shows and other applications.

If you are in need of dry ice for your next big event, look no farther than VS Carbonics. We have dry ice for sale in Miami in several different sizes so you can be sure you’ll have enough for the road. Whether you’re trying to fill a room with fog, or simply fill a cooler for a long trip into the wilderness, we’ve got what you need.