Water when made into a solid mass by the application of cooling is known as ice. It is one of the essential mediums for short-term preservation of highly perishable commodities such as marine foods, fresh meat and poultry products, dairy products and fruit and vegetables. These goods can be stored for about 2 to 3 days with ice. This fact facilitates the transportation of these foods to the consumer market. Ice is also used in the chemical, pharmaceutical, canning and freezing industries. Besides, it is being used for children and serving synthetic or fruit beverages, Jellies, etc.
The term ice plant is used in this note to mean a complete installation for the production and storage of ice, including the icemaker itself, that is the unit that converts water into ice together with the associated refrigeration machinery, harvesting and storage equipment, and the building.
Ice plants are usually classified by the type of ice they produce; hence there are block ice plants, flake ice plants, tube, slice or plate ice plants and so on. Ice plants may be further subdivided into those that make dry or wet ice. Dry ice here means ice at a temperature low enough to prevent the particles becoming moist; the term does not refer in this note to solid carbon dioxide. In general, dry subcooled ice is made in plants that mechanically remove the ice from the cooling surface; most flake ice plants are of this type. When the cooling surface of an icemaker is warmed by a defrost mechanism to release the ice, the surface of the ice is wet and, unless the ice is then subcooled below 0°C, remains wet in storage; tube ice and plate ice plants are of this type.
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