This practical gives an explanation as to why water pipes sometimes burst in cold conditions and how rocks can be broken apart in the freeze-thaw process.
Equipment required (per demonstration):
Fill the bottle up to the brim with water and firmly screw the lid on tight. Place in the sealable bag and into a freezer.
During freezing the water inside the bottle will expand and either break the bottle or break the cap off. The bottle can be placed in a sealed clear plastic box and shown to the class.
The freeze-thaw principle occurs where water is trapped in a rock crevice. As the water freezes, it expands, pushing the rock apart. This principle is a form of rock weathering.
Another way to show the expansion is to fill a measuring cylinder with water and check the level. When the water is frozen you should be able to see a noticeable difference in volume within the cylinder.
The contents of this page are for information only. Please refer to CLEAPSS or ASE safety advice and/or publications before undertaking any preparation, practical experiment or using any equipment featured on this site or any other.