Meaning of Solidification

What is Solidification:

Solidification is the physical process by which a liquid becomes a solid., maintaining its chemical composition. When a substance in a liquid state becomes a solid, its particles are ordered and release energy, increasing their forces of interaction.

Solidification is a change of phase or state of matter of a substance. The reverse process of solidification is fusion, when a solid becomes a liquid.

diagram of the solidification process

The solidification of water occurs when it reaches 0 ºC (273.2 kelvin). This temperature is known as the freezing point of waterwhich in the case of water, is equal to its melting point.

The freezing point of ethyl alcohol is -114ºC, that is, at -114ºC the alcohol changes from a liquid to a solid. That is why alcohol does not freeze in the freezer of the house that reaches -20 ºC.

See also Melting Point.

examples of solidification

molten metal

The solidification process is widely used in metallurgy, metal casting, and alloy formation.

Solidification is present in many situations of nature and other activities of human beings, for example:

  • When the paraffin to make candles cools: the paraffin is heated to make it fluid and then, when it reaches its solidification point, between 40 and 65 Cº, it hardens.
  • When ice forms from water in the refrigerator: water at room temperature is liquid. In the refrigerator, the temperature is normally between -20 and -15 ºC, so ice forms.
  • When hail or snow falls as a form of precipitation: in the winter time or when there are very low temperatures in the environment, water vapor or raindrops from the atmosphere freeze and fall to the ground.
  • When the surface of the lakes freezes in the winter.
  • When cooling butter: Butter is made up of 80% fat, mainly fatty acids with widely varying solidification points, ranging from -6ºC to 70ºC.
  • When pouring molten metals, such as iron, into containers: the temperature at which iron melts is 1538 ºC, below this iron returns to the solid state.
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frozen lake water solidification process in nature

In winter, when temperatures drop below 0ºC, the surface of lakes and lagoons can freeze.

See also:


Reyes, A., Vásquez, J. Sepúlveda, F. (2015) Analysis of melting-solidification cycles of paraffin waxes. Magazine of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences 12: 1-9

Sears, FW, Zemansky, MW, Young, HD (1986). university physics. Inter-American Educational Fund.