An ice maker is a machine for making ice. This machine produces the ice from moving water, the difference from the traditional method of making ice, where the water is frozen. This principle results in the air being removed, as well as the suspended solids.
The water tray freezes slowly and gradually in layers until the water freezes completely and creates ice cubes. Once the correct temperature is reached, the tray heats up enough to allow the cubes to separate. The cubes are deposited in the storage tank.
Ice maker in the lab
Some types of laboratory experiments and reactions require an ice bath in one or more of its steps. Lab ice makers are a convenient way to ensure ice is there when it’s needed. An ice maker are very useful in microbiology laboratories and for PCR (polymerase chain reaction).
There are ice makers that make ice, where the ice must be stored in a separate ice bin and ice makers that can make and store the ice at the same time. Knowing if you prefer ice flakes or cubes, and if you want cubes, what shape and size, are things that must be determined before purchasing a laboratory ice maker. The amount of ice that can be made and / or stored and the size of the ice maker must also be considered.
Types of ice makers
- Modular Ice Maker: Comes in a wide variety of sizes and with different ice production rates. The storage tank is a separate unit, also available in a variety of storage capacities. The machine is typically stackable on top of the ice bin, creating the appearance of a single piece of equipment. However, this arrangement of separate units facilitates cleaning and maintenance of the ice machine.
- Self Contained Ice Makers: Include the ice maker and ice collection tray within the same box, creating a truly individual unit. It takes up less physical space, but on the contrary, the ice production and storage capacity are less than that of modular units. Self-contained ice machines are available in a variety of sizes and capacities, which is a very practical solution when there are problems of lack of space in the workplaces where it must be installed.
- Undercounter ice machines: This type is very practical because its compact design allows you to have ice at hand without taking up too much space. However, these types of machines have lower ice production rates and their storage capacity is significantly less than the larger autonomous units, which means that they have to make ice more times, with the consequent energy expenditure.
How does the ice maker work?
The water comes from an external source and rises through a tremendously icy metallic coating, which, in less than 60 seconds, turns the water into columns of ice. A stainless steel spiral is responsible for raising the ice to the upper part of the machine, where a rotating arm is responsible for splitting the columns, turning them into cubes and sending them to the freezer where they are stored.
Ice maker utility
Manufacturing machines are, today, an essential piece in the best laboratories and hospitals in the world. And is that the ice they produce is a great ally for most professionals in the health sector. As a consequence, the majority of health centers, laboratories, hospitals and research centers include an ice maker in their equipment, either for cubes or granular ice. On the other hand, diagnostic laboratories that perform analytics, take tissue samples, or research centers, need to have granular ice to preserve the samples.