Freeze plastic bottle deliberately or accidentally


A plastic bottle forms a closed container where the contained liquid can freeze. As most liquids expand when frozen, they create pressure in a full bottle. He "blows up" the weakest part of the bottle, the lid. This is enough for pressure reduction and happens when not completely filled bottles almost never.

Lightning strikes are more common than broken plastic bottles

The targeted or accidental freezing of a plastic bottle is a burst or even explode as glass bottles almost impossible. Water expands in volume by about ten percent when it turns into ice. This increase is "intercepted" by almost all plastics through their elasticity, even when fully filled.

Again and again "haunting" messages by the media that a plastic bottle exploded or burst. Taking into account the infinite number of plastic bottles in circulation, these cases are exceptions in the per thousand range. In addition, unlike glass bottles, for example, in the catering industry plastic bottles are often used for the storage of liquid food and beverages.

Advantageous bottle properties for targeted freezing

Plastic bottles are deformed by the increasing volume of their contents. This deformation can be almost completely prevented by a volume reserve between a fifth and a quarter of the total internal volume. No deformation occurs during freezing, if the material rigidity is sufficient due to the corresponding wall thickness.

If plastic bottles are to be used specifically for freezing, the following properties and requirements are helpful:

  • High material stiffness
  • Externally dry bottle freeze
  • Closure or lid with rubber seal
  • Fill content up to a maximum of four fifths
  • Use products marked "food safe"
  • Use products labeled "freeze-proof"
  • If possible, use PET bottles that are free of plasticizers
  • Allow bottles to cool before freezing hot contents
  • No liquid or moisture in the screw area and thread of the closure
  • Carbonated liquids increase the freezing extent and can be "fused" by a larger "volume reserve" of about a quarter
  • The carbon dioxide "escapes" during freezing, similar to shaking, from the drink and does not return after thawing

Tips & Tricks

If you want to be on the safe side, you can choose boil-proof and therefore sterilizable plastic bottles for freezing. Bottles of this type are offered in baby supplies for breast milk and in scientific laboratory supplies.


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