Does water expand or contract when it freezes?



  1. 0 Votes

    Water expands when it freezes.  The reason it does so is because when water crystallizes upon freezing, the hexagonal make up of the ice takes up more space than water in liquid form.  Because this space exists, this is what causes ice to float (from the smallest of ice cubes to the largest of icebergs!).  You can see a diagram of the crystalline form of ice here:

  2. 0 Votes

    Water expands when it freezes. Though most liquids contract when they freeze, water actually starts expanding at 4 degrees Celsius. Why? When water freezes, its molecules crystallize in a hexagonal lattice that takes up more space than their shape in the liquid state.

  3. 0 Votes

    Water contracts like any other substance when cooled until it reaches 4 degrees Celsius. Then it expands slightly until it reaches 0 Celsius, the freezing point, with total expansion by 9%

    This is because of the specific structure of the water molecule. There is a tendency in water molecules to form Hydrogen bonds, each hydrogen atom preferring (if i can personify a bit) to be in between two oxygen molecules. This results in a hexagonal pattern. This open structure makes it less dense than liquid water.

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