We explain what solidification is, the types that exist, the characteristics of each one and examples. Also, what is fusion.

Solidification is due to changes in temperature or pressure, such as lava cooling.

What is solidification?

Solidification is the process of physical change or phase change by which the matter pass liquid state to solid state, by varying the Pressure to which it is subjected.

In the latter it is distinguished from freezing, which supposes the same result on liquid matter, but from the decrease in its temperature below its freezing point. This difference is more technical and in non-academic or scientific fields both terms are usually used interchangeably.

Solidification or freezing is the process (contrary to melting or melting) that makes solid matter turn into liquid from the change in its physical conditions of pressure and / or temperature. They are reversible processes in the sense that matter is not chemically transformed, that is, they do not occur chemical changes (constitutive) but physical (form).

We can talk about different types of solidification, depending on the changes that occur in matter, for example:

  • Crystallization. It consists of the formation of structures solid within a uniform liquid, as the particles come together. It is possible to observe these structures, as in water when it begins to freeze, because solid and liquid coexist for a few moments.
  • Vitrification. Certain materials can solidify without crystallizing, such as glass or glycerol, so that there is no abrupt transit between one physical phase and the other, but there is a loss of elasticity gradual, leading to the solid state.
  • Supercooling. It is the process by which a liquid is cooled to temperatures below its freezing point without changing phase, without solidifying. For this to happen the liquid must be sufficiently pure.

Solidification and fusion

The melting point is the temperature at which a material becomes liquid.

Melting is the opposite process of solidification and freezing. It consists of adding Energy to a solid material, to increase the movement of your particles, losing its chemical bonds and its fixed structure. It is the passage from the solid state to the liquid.

Each solid has a melting point From which it changes phase and becomes a liquid state: the opposite of the freezing point at which liquids become solid. The higher said melting point, the more energy (that is, higher temperature) the solid will require to melt, that is, to become a liquid or semi-liquid.

Examples of solidification

Glass is heated to shape it and becomes solid when it cools.

Some examples of solidification are:

  • The Water When freezing inside our refrigerators, it is the quintessential example of solidification of a liquid due to loss of heat.
  • The boiling lava that gushes from the subsoil when there is Volcanic eruptions it is liquid material subjected to enormous temperatures and pressures. As it rises to the surface, it slowly loses energy and ends up turning into solid material.
  • When we make figures with clay, we notice that, when wet, the clay is malleable, but when it dries it becomes solid, hard and brittle.
  • The metals in the steel industries they are heated in gigantic furnaces to melt them (take them from solid to liquid) and then pour them into molds with specific shapes. Contained there, the liquid metals cool and solidify, and once removed from the mold, they will have the desired shape.
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