“Frostwork” experiment

How to make frosty patterns, which don’t melt at room temperature

In this ex­per­i­ment, “frosty” pat­terns ap­pear be­fore your eyes, even in a warm room! It’s an in­ter­est­ing home ex­per­i­ment you can do with the kids.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

We rec­om­mend that you wear gloves dur­ing this ex­per­i­ment. If car­bamide comes into con­tact with the skin or the mu­cous mem­branes, rinse it off with wa­ter. Car­bamide is a safe com­pound.

Reagents and equip­ment:

  • car­bamide 300 g;
  • wa­ter 50 ml;
  • beaker;
  • brush;
  • glass.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Add 50 ml of hot wa­ter to the car­bamide and mix thor­ough­ly. Then ap­ply the so­lu­tion to the glass with the brush.

Pro­cess­es de­scrip­tion

Car­bamide is an or­gan­ic com­pound that con­sists of di­amide of car­bon­ic acid. It has high sol­u­bil­i­ty in wa­ter (around 50 g per 100 ml of wa­ter). When the tem­per­a­ture in­creas­es, the sol­u­bil­i­ty of car­bamide in­creas­es, and ac­cord­ing­ly, in a small amount of hot wa­ter more car­bamide dis­solves. Thus a rich so­lu­tion is cre­at­ed.

When this so­lu­tion is ap­plied to any sur­face, for ex­am­ple glass, wa­ter evap­o­rates af­ter a cer­tain time, and crys­tal­liza­tion of car­bamide be­gins. The car­bamide crys­tals spread over the glass, and cov­er it with beau­ti­ful nee­dle-like pat­terns, re­sem­bling frost in win­ter. These pat­terns can eas­i­ly be washed away with wa­ter.