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Theoretical max. pressure of a given quantity of water freezing to ice

  1. Mar 15, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Water in rock crevices often causes erosion when it freezes, given it expands and exerts pressure on the rock. What is the maximum pressure that water can exert when it freezes?

    T = 263.15 K
    dice @ 263.15 K = 0.9 g cm3
    dwater @ 263.15 K = 1.0 g cm3

    2. Relevant equations

    Force = Pressure x Area


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Assuming 1 mole of water, the volume of the ice would be 20 cm3 (ΔV = 2 cm3).

    I don't know how to relate the change in volume to the pressure exerted, though. It's not like I know the geometry of the water and how much area it has to be able to use the equation in 2. Nor do I know how to determine the force exerted by the water as it expands (I know how much mass is being displaced, but don't know how to determine it's acceleration, assuming I need to use Force = Mass x Acceleration).
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That's wrong.

    Not that it changes anything.
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