Frozen Candles

by Deb on August 10, 2012

Post image for Frozen Candles

A little while ago we made ice lanterns, remember? Something interesting happened with the tea lights, and led to many more happy burning sessions while the girls worked it out.

This is one of the candles from the ice lantern, if you have a look you can see that the top still has a thick, rough ring while the inside is a smooth bowl down to the burnt out wick. Is this normal for a tea light? Why do you think some is rough and some is smooth? Why has it gone bowl shaped rather than burning down flat?

We burnt some more to compare them.

burning

Notice how the wax is melting from the wick out to the edge in a fairly shallow layer.

comparison

And here they are side by side for comparison. The second tea light is smooth all the way out to the edge with a slight rim and a small depression in the middle. (We only burnt this one for a few minutes, not all the way down to the base of the wick.)

The smoothness shows us where the wax has melted and then re-solidified, so the ice lanterns must have caused a very different melting pattern in those candles.

Can you work out why? (Big girl did.) Let me know what you think.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Trinity August 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

The ice kept the wax (or paraffin) around the edges of the tea lights cool, so it didn’t melt evenly across like it would if the tes light wa at room temperature. This happened with a candle we had which had a large diameter- the heat from the wick in the middle was just not enough to warm the edges enough to melt, so it just melted down the middle.

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Deb August 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm

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