Flake ice is a type of ice characterised by its delicate, thin, and flat flakes, offering a unique set of advantages in various industries.

Produced through specialised ice-making machines, flake ice is formed by freezing water in thin layers on the inner surface of a cylindrical ice drum. Once formed and broken into small pieces, the resulting ice flakes have a large surface area, making them ideal for rapid cooling and conforming to the shape of items they come into contact with. This versatility and quick cooling capability make flake ice popular in commercial and industrial applications, including fishmongers and fisheries, food and beverage industries, where it is used for food preservation, processing, and display purposes, as well as in concrete cooling and healthcare settings.


Here’s how the process generally works: 


The first step is to ensure a continuous supply of clean water. The water should be free from impurities to produce high-quality flake ice.


An ice generator or an ice evaporator is the core component of the flake ice-making process. It consists of a refrigerant-filled surface, and it is designed to cool the water rapidly.


The water supply is evenly distributed over the ice generator’s surface, typically a horizontal drum or a vertical cylinder. As the water flows over the surface, it forms a thin layer.


The refrigerant in the ice generator’s surface extracts heat from the flowing water, causing it to freeze rapidly. The thin layer of water solidifies into a thin sheet of ice.


The ice forms as a thin layer on the ice generator’s surface. To maintain the desired ice thickness, the temperature and flow of water are carefully controlled.


Once the ice reaches the desired thickness, a set of blades scrapes the ice off the ice generator’s surface. These blades can be either rotating or stationary, depending on the design.


The ice scraped from the ice generator is in the form of small, flat flakes with a thickness ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 mm.


The flake ice can be stored in bins or transported directly to its intended application. It remains loose and easy to handle, making it ideal for various industrial uses.

Overall, the process of making flake ice is continuous, with new ice forming as the old ice is scraped off the ice generator’s surface. This allows for a steady supply of flake ice as needed. Flake ice is popular due to its excellent cooling properties and ease of use in various applications, such as fisheries and fishmongers. 

It’s worth noting that the production capacity of flake ice machines can vary significantly, from small-scale machines suitable for commercial use to large industrial-scale units capable of producing several tons of flake ice per day. The ice-making process is generally automated and monitored to ensure consistent ice quality and production efficiency. 


There are a number of different types of commercial ice machines that can produce flake ice.  Learn more about the various types of ice machines available, and the benefits of each. 

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Are you unsure what ice machine is best for your business needs or budget? Call us on 01869 247947 and our experienced team will listen to your requirements and provide the best recommendations for you. Alternatively, visit our Contact Us page to send an online enquiry. 

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