How Effective Is Your Ice Box in Keeping Food Cool?

There is no disputing the fact that a quality ice box will deliver when it comes to the expectations of prospective purchasers. People buy a cooler to keep their food cool and, when an ice chest fulfills their need for keeping ice in its optimal frozen condition for a number of days then they are happy. For very good quality ice cool boxes, this could be as long as nine days, depending on the quality and thickness of insulation. Certainly, nobody is going to dispute the fact that a superior box will not fail to keep your food cool and fresh. This overwhelming success in terms of keeping your food fresh is partly due to the design of a great box and the materials used in its construction. Part of the success will also be due to your own success in packing your ice box appropriately and picking the most suitable size box for your requirements.

The success of a cooler box is due to its thermal capabilities, with the insulation being achieved through the thickness of the box walls and lid as well as ensuring maximum insulation continues to be maintained from the seal around the lid. The thickness of the walls will usually be different according to the size of each box. However, all superior boxes will have walls that vary between about 25mm and 35mm thick, according to the size of the relevant box. Smaller boxes will usually have less insulation and ice will melt faster. Similarly, the thickness of the lid of a good box will measure between 50mm to 100mm, once again dependent on the size of the box concerned. The material used to make the most boxes is high density Iso-polyol which is a chemical configuration of polyethylene composite. This has been found to provide the best in thermal insulation while still maintaining a durable but lightweight cool box.

Another advantage that a quality box will usually have is the construction of their nylon hinges which are welded into place rather than riveted. Furthermore, these hinges have been designed to be fully self-supporting, precluding the need for any ropes to provide support. Suppliers during their manufacturing process should test the performance of each model to make sure that the thermal insulation in their boxes performs adequately. Each one of the box models should be tested for their ice holding capacity during the summer conditions generally experienced in the country t are to be sold in. Once these results have been obtained they should published their findings so that buyers are able to compare.

Ice box tests should be carried out under controlled conditions. Throughout the duration of the test each one of the boxes should be filled with commercially produced party ice. Furthermore, the boxes should be opened a number of times each day to replicate normal use. One test, from an Australian supplier, opened the box 10 times a day for 30 seconds each time. Each day, excess water was allowed to be drained out of each box by removing the bung for the time it took for the water to drain. Basically, following the method described above, this supplier produced the following results. For an 80 litre fiberglass box and a 85 litre plastic ice box, it was noted that, it was only by the close of the tenth day, that almost all the ice had melted from each of these two ice boxes. Meanwhile, the results of the 70 litre plastic box revealed that the ice in this box had completely melted by the end of the seventh day. The results are an indication that, if you have a quality cooler, with good insulation, and you use the cool box in a manner similar to the study project, then there is no reason why you cannot obtain similar results.

Rebecca R. Ammons

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