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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Science of Magic » » Invisible Ice Cubes? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Josho
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Albany, New York
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I know that invisible ice cubes (such as seen here: https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/invisible-ice-cubes/) are made from a polymer that starts out small, and then when kept immersed in water, expands to many times its original size and is crystal-clear in water.

My question is: does anyone know what this polymer is called, what its other uses are, and/or where it can be found (other than at magic stores)?

Thanks for any direction!

Josh
TheMightyRicardo
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Your link didn't work for me.

Richard
Mary Mowder
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I did not get the link either.

Is this what you are talking about? Very cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPK2m0qRZx4

Mary Mowder
Josho
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Ah, I see why the link didn't work...for some reason, the Café automatically added my close parentheses to the end of the link:

https://www.stevensmagic.com/shop/invisible-ice-cubes/

There ya go!

And yep, Mary, that's the same material. When you get it from a magic supply store, it's in tiny cubes barely about 1/8" on each side, but when they've sat in water for a few hours, they become as big as regular ice cubes (and every bit as invisible in water as the balls in the video).

It's such cool stuff and I'd love to experiment with it, but I haven't been able to find out exactly what it is.
FuzzyBoots
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I picked some of these up from EBay. They came without instructions. Does the water have to be any particular temperature? Do the ice cubes go back to normal when removed from the water? Because I only got a handful of them (it was one of my $1 no-shipping purchases to explore new ideas), I'm loathe to experiment too much.
Josho
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I don't blame you!

My research has recently uncovered a FAR MORE price-conscious source for these: http://www.teachersource.com

I just bought a huge quantity of these cubes (they call them "growing cubes," and they also have them in spheres for whatever that's worth) for $6.95 plus shipping.

They come with instructions an MSDS that tells a lot about them. As far as the water goes, they recommend distilled water as salt interferes with the absorption. They don't say much about the temperature except that "hot water may be used to speed the process."

Another valuable thing to know about them is that they can be set out, and will eventually dry and shrink again, and can be re-expanded over and over.

Once they're expanded, they're pretty fragile. So be gentle with them once you've started to "grow" them.
solarpk
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You can find some useful technical information here (scroll to the discussion section):
http://www.flinnsci.com/media/1437823/cf11089.pdf

That website also sells the material: http://www.flinnsci.com/store/Scripts/pr......ct=22357
Josho
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Solarpk, thank you, that's a terrific addition to what I'd already been able to find out about this stuff!

Best regards,
Josh
solarpk
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Quote:
On Sep 12, 2016, Josho wrote:
Solarpk, thank you, that's a terrific addition to what I'd already been able to find out about this stuff!

Best regards,
Josh


No problem. I'm sure you are more than aware, but all superabsorbent polymer materials could potentially cause airway or bowel obstruction in animals because of the materials' impressive expansion ratio, so be wary if you have a lot of the material hanging about!
Josho
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Of course. But I appreciate the warning.

Josh
That1MagicGuy
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I wonder what would happen if I froze this invisible ice cube, cause as I know they are in jello form.
WitchDocChris
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Nice find. Following this to see if you can let us know how they work out for you. I have a routine I'm building this could work for.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
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