Why Does Cooler Shock Keep My Cooler Colder Longer than Other Ice Packs?No doubt about it – the most popular feature of Cooler Shock is that it keeps stuff colder for longer. A lot of folks ask why that is. The answer is pretty simple: it’s the stuff we add to the ice, and how that changes the physics of melting and warming that ice. Cooler Shock is a phase change ice pack.
Water is Amazing Stuff
Plain water is amazing stuff. Really, nothing else is like it for the combination of how much energy it takes to melt it from ice to water and how much energy it takes to continue warming up the liquid water. That’s why plain water ice is pretty effective in your cooler. But it’s possible to make ice even better by adding a mixture of minerals and a non-toxic polymer. With the right mixture, the ice freezes at a colder temperature, and the melted ice stays colder EVEN AFTER IT HAS MELTED. That’s the part that isn’t obvious to a lot of folks about Cooler Shock – it can be melted, yet it can still be colder than regular ice and it can still be keeping the cooler cold (by absorbing heat).
Science You May Not Want to KnowThe reason for this magic is what chemists and engineers call “colligative properties”, specifically melting point depression. Basically, you can reduce the effects to two things worth remembering. First, salt lowers the freezing point of water. Second, liquid water takes a lot of energy to warm up. It’s probably best to show this by a short video here in the article
You can see how regular ice warms up a bit from its temperature in the freezer, then takes a lot of energy to melt, then takes a fair amount of energy to warm up to room temperature. But Cooler Shock takes about the same amount of energy to melt, then takes MUCH MORE energy – and so, much a much longer period of time – than regular ice to warm up to room temperature.