What is SOLIDIFICATION and Examples

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Nature is full of physical-chemical phenomena and processes that allow the regulation of each and every one of its components. Many times, such regulation involves the change of a substance or element from one state to another, that is, liquids that turn into gases or solids, and vice versa. These phenomena are directly related to changes in temperatures and pressures, as well as to the variation of the internal energy of the substance itself. In this way, depending on the natural parameter that varies and the change that occurs in matter, we will speak of a specific physical-chemical process or another.

In this article by Green Ecologist we will focus exclusively on describing the curious phenomenon of solidification, both of natural elements and of chemical substances in which human beings intervene in this process. Continue reading this article and you will discover what is solidification and examples.

What is solidification

Solidification is a physical process in which the change of state of any matter that passes occurs from liquid to solid. This phenomenon takes place due to a decrease in temperature and energy that exists between the chemical bonds of the elements that make up matter.

Generally, any compound that undergoes a solidification process decreases its volume, now occupying less space. However, water is an exception, and as we have all seen on occasion, the volume of ice is greater than that of liquid water, although we always take into account the shape and specific volume of the container that contains it.

Solidification point or temperature of water

Each substance and element of nature has its own specific solidification point or temperature, from which, said substance will change state and it will go from being a liquid element to becoming a solid.

For example, him solidification point or temperature of water, that is, the transition point from liquid to solid, is exactly at 0 ºC. This exact temperature is directly related to the density of water, and will be relevant when it comes to knowing what change in pressure and temperature will require a certain volume of water to go from a liquid to a solid state.

In the next section we will see some of the most common cases in which the solidification process of different liquids and substances intervenes to obtain food and other materials that we use in our day to day life.

Examples of solidification

Some of the most common processes in which this phenomenon occurs, which occurs in various substances, are the following solidification examples:

  • Water solidification in obtaining ice, bringing the water to its freezing point (0 ° C), at which point the liquid becomes a solid state, increasing in size and thus forming ice, always maintaining the shape of the container that contains it.
  • Jewelry making by solidification of gold, silver and other precious metals. For this, these molten metals are used as raw material, they are allowed to cool in a certain solid and resistant mold, thus achieving the subsequent elaboration of various jewels such as rings and necklaces.
  • Glass formation from sand solidification of silica together with limestone and calcium carbonate. Through this process each and every one of the different consistent glass containers that we are used to using in our day to day are obtained.
  • Chocolate Preparation, because using cocoa beans mixed and ground with water and milk, a semi-liquid paste is obtained that after being cooled and dried will solidify until it acquires the form of a chocolate tablet and other specific forms with which chocolate is commonly marketed throughout the world. world.
  • The candies They are another clear example because the raw material is common sugar, which is burned and solidified in molds until it becomes candies.
  • Butter and margarine. The manufacture of these foods is achieved on many occasions from an industrial solidification process in which the raw material is oils of animal or vegetable origin, respectively, which are kept in a solid state at room temperature.
  • Sausages as blood sausages are another industrial process for food that makes use of the solidification of its ingredients is the preparation of sausages. In this case, the marinated liquid blood coagulates and remains in this solid after being kept in pig casings.
  • Candles from waxes and oils. This simple process of manufacturing natural candles allows us, from oil and waxes in liquid state, to obtain candles with a hard consistency after the raw material has solidified.
  • Jellies, since from collagen and hydrated connective tissues of animal origin, it is possible to obtain gelatins of semi-solid consistency, after undergoing the solidification of its components.
  • Artisan clays. The mixture of clay (a type of sand) with water results in a mouldable mass that after cooling will solidify, maintaining the shape that we have given when molding it.

Difference between solidification, condensation and vaporization

A simple and illustrative way to learn to differentiate these three physical-chemical processes is through the water cycle and the study of the changes of state of this vital element. Let's see in detail what each process consists of to see what the difference between solidification, condensation and vaporization.

  • Solidification: As we have been commenting throughout the article, solidification consists of the transition from a liquid to a solid state.
  • Condensation: Any gas that is subjected to a change in temperature or pressure becomes a liquid through the process of condensation, also known as precipitation. Learn more about this process in this other post about What is water condensation and examples.
  • Vaporization: This process involves the passage of water from a liquid to a gaseous state, due to the increase in temperature, after exceeding its boiling point (100 ºC). When it occurs only on the surface or part of the matter, it is called evaporation and when it occurs in all of it, the vaporization that we have discussed occurs. Here we explain what is the evaporation of water and examples.

In this other article you can learn more about What is the water cycle.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is solidification and examples, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.

  • Atkins, P. & Jones, L. (2008) Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight (4th ed.). W. H. Freeman and Company, page: 236.
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