If you are considering purchasing an ice sculpture for your event, the odds are you’ve wondered how long an ice sculpture lasts. At Ice Guru Events, we build our sculptures to last for the full duration of your event. However there are certain variables that can definitely impact how long your sculpture lasts. Let’s take a look at a few of them now
As you might expect, temperature plays a big role in the longevity of an ice sculpture. In general, for every 10 degree decrease in temperature, you can expect a single block ice sculpture to last 1-2 hours longer (this rule doesn’t apply when temperatures are below freezing). For example, at 50 degrees, a single block ice sculpture can last for 12 or more hours. At 60 degrees, 10-11 hours. At 70 degrees, 8-9 hours. At 80 degrees, 7-8 hours.
Size and Shape
The thicker the ice sculpture, the longer it will take to melt. That is the long and short of it. However, if you want a more scientific answer, we should look at surface area to volume ratio.
You can find the surface area of an object by multiplying the length If we look at a solid cube block of ice that has 2 inch proportions, the volume of the cube would be 8 cubic inches. If we add up the surface area of all of the sides, we would get 24 square inches. Our surface area to volume ratio would be 24/8 or 3. With a thicker cube of ice with proportions of 3 inches, our volume would be 27 cubic inches and our surface area would be 54 square inches. So our surface area to volume ratio would be 54/27 or 2. Because the surface area to volume ratio is larger for our 2 inch cube, we know that it will melt faster.
Of course, you likely aren’t looking for a giant ice cube for your event. This is where shape comes into play. If your ice sculpture has any thin sections of ice, those sections will melt faster than the thicker portions of your sculpture and could cause a collapse. For example, let’s say you want an ice sculpture of a giraffe for an event at a zoo. The neck and legs of the giraffe would melt significantly faster than the body. And as soon as one leg stops supporting the rest of the sculpture, the sculpture will collapse.
Again, most sculptors should be designing your sculpture with the duration of your event in mind, so don’t get nervous if you have an ice sculpture with thin parts in mind for your event. Talk to your sculptor about your concerns and make sure you are both on the same page.
Wind and Air Circulation
Wind and air circulation also play a huge role when it comes to the longevity of your ice sculpture. If your ice sculpture is outdoors on a warm, windy day, your ice sculpture will melt more quickly due to the passing air. If your sculpture is indoors, an open window or air vent could also cause the sculpture to melt more quickly. That is why we always recommend avoiding heating and cooling vents and windows and doors when positioning your sculpture.
Last up we have lighting. Sunlight and hot overhead lights can heat not just the outside of your sculpture, but the inside as well, causing the internal temperature to rise as the outer layers melt away. If you can place your sculpture in a shady spot outdoors and a good distance away from hot light sources in doors, your sculpture will last longer.
Need a sculpture for your event?
At Ice Guru Event’s, we can create any ice sculpture you dream up. Whether you’re looking for something for an upcoming party, corporate event, or fundraiser, we can help you wow your guests with an incredible sculpture. Just head over to our ice sculptures page to see some of our work.