20 oz bottle in the freezer

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
Does anybody know how long it will take for a 20 oz bottle of Pepsi (unopened) to explode if it is in a freezer? The bottle was about 70F when it was placed in the freezer, at about 12:30 pm EST. I will be returning home at about 7:30pm EST. As there is no way for me to go remove it, what do you all think will have happened to it?

Oh, as to why it is in there. I was planning on leaving the house at 12:45 (which I did), but wanted a cold soda to drink at 3pm. I figured 15 min in the feeezer would be better than in the fridge. I forgot it when I left the house.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
i honestly dont think it will explode, i think there is enough room in a 20 oz bottle for all the liquid to freeze, if anything the plastic may have a huge bump at one of the ends

i dont know how long it would take to freeze though, never timed or was good at figureing out things like this
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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You may be lucky but I'm just waiting for a scientific genius to come along and calculate this. :)

It could be done with some assumptions about the temperature of the freezer and a guess at the freezing point of Pepsi. :D
 

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,586
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Washington, DC
nbs2 said:
Does anybody know how long it will take for a 20 oz bottle of Pepsi (unopened) to explode if it is in a freezer? The bottle was about 70F when it was placed in the freezer, at about 12:30 pm EST. I will be returning home at about 7:30pm EST. As there is no way for me to go remove it, what do you all think will have happened to it?

Oh, as to why it is in there. I was planning on leaving the house at 12:45 (which I did), but wanted a cold soda to drink at 3pm. I figured 15 min in the feeezer would be better than in the fridge. I forgot it when I left the house.
If it explodes, most of the liquid will be frozen anyway. Just remove it and pitch it in the sink until it melts. But since it's plastic it may well not explode.
 

SFVCyclone

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2005
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Pasadena, Ca
Blue Velvet said:
You may be lucky but I'm just waiting for a scientific genius to come along and calculate this. :)

It could be done with some assumptions about the temperature of the freezer and a guess at the freezing point of Pepsi. :D
I agree it sounds more like one of word problems in a math book asking how much longer will jimmy take to get to marias house if he goes over the mountain instead of around it. :D
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
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I believe water expands somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10% when it freezes. Pepsi? Don't know, but I imagine it's a little less than that, perhaps around 6-7%.

A 20 oz bottle of Pepsi likely has enough spare room (the bottom will pop out first) to avoid explosion.

I don't want to calculate time to freeze, but I'm guessing 7 hours will be enough. But you should be fine. besides, if it explodes when it's frozen, or mostly frozen, you shouldn't get much of a mess. The pressure from the carbonation will decrease with temperature decrease.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,817
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Andover, MA
FWIW, an unopened 20 oz bottle of Diet Coke which was inadvertently left outside when the temperature went to 0º F, survived unscathed except for a pushed-out bottom. It didn't explode. If your bottle ruptured, switch to Coke products.
 

plinden

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2004
3,969
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It probably won't explode, it'll just crack open the bottle. Might make a mess though.

Couple of weeks ago I put a bottle of beer (at about 6pm) in the freezer to cool down and forgot it overnight. By next morning it had cracked open the bottle and oozed out before freezing solid. It wasn't too hard to clean up.

By the way, I have a habit of cooling down warm beer in the freezer - a couple of months ago I did that, took it out after a couple of hours, popped off the top, and it bubbled up out of the neck, before freezing.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 31, 2004
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A geographical oddity
Ok. I guess explode was the wrong term. It is just much more exciting than "pussed", "leaked", or "dribbled". I was just wondering if I was going to come home to a layer of Pepsi in my freezer.
MongoTheGeek said:
Cross linked polyethylene has enough give to survive.
Cross linked poly-what? Is that just a fancy term for a plastic bottle, or is it a special plastic of some sort? I really should have done something other than law school.
jsw said:
If your bottle ruptured, switch to Coke products.
No can do. I got to keep winning more free music - even though I have 5 or 6 songs that I still haven't used. I got a case of Pepsi that needs using by the end of this here competition... :D I forgot my nice little lunch at home and refuse to buy a Coke here b/c I will not be manipulated into purchasing a drink that will give me no musical benefits. :mad:
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
nbs2 said:
Cross linked poly-what? Is that just a fancy term for a plastic bottle, or is it a special plastic of some sort? I really should have done something other than law school.
Soda bottles are made from polyethylene a relatively soft malleable plastic. To make it stronger they stretch it out so that it all goes in the same direction and then the run another layer going in the opposite direction.

When a soda bottle fails catastrophically you will see that it actually has layers and that the strain marks on the layers run in different directions. Soda bottle are a marvel of engineering in terms of how much pressure they can safely contain.
 

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,639
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Cape Cod
I've left cans of Diet Coke in the freezer before... only took a couple hours to expand, and a eventually exploded.

Coke everywhere. Had to remove all the shelves, and food food from the freezer. The worst part was I had to use a hair dryer to heat the frozen Coke off the bottom of the freezer. Wasn't fun to clean up. :(

Maybe you'll be a bit more lucky.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,817
37
Andover, MA
musicpyrite said:
I've left cans of Diet Coke in the freezer before... only took a couple hours to expand, and a eventually exploded.

Coke everywhere. Had to remove all the shelves, and food food from the freezer. The worst part was I had to use a hair dryer to heat the frozen Coke off the bottom of the freezer. Wasn't fun to clean up. :(

Maybe you'll be a bit more lucky.
Ah, but cans are much different than bottles. 12 oz aluminum cans are more restricted in their ability to stretch than 20 oz plastic bottles.
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
13,521
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Sod off
I once did an experiment with a 20oz. plastic bottle of Sprite...

Drank the Sprite, then tossed 8-10 cylindrical cubes of dry ice into the bottle, and sealed the cap. After about 20 minutes, the bottle had been stretched to 20-30% greater than its original size, but the cap was still secure. Then I got a little scared and carefully loosened the cap to let the gas out.

Bottom line: cans will blow up but the plastic should be fine if it is anything like the Sprite bottle I used. Dry ice produces a lot more gas than the soda will.
 

takao

macrumors 68040
Dec 25, 2003
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Dornbirn (Austria)
reminded me when i had some 'strange' behaviour from bottles in freezers as well.. i ut them in and took them out ... with it still being liquid inside...opened the cap...BOOM completly solid ice within seconds (my reaction: "WTF ?") and "bubbeling" started like insane...needless to say i put the cap on fast ;)
 

SFVCyclone

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2005
518
0
Pasadena, Ca
takao said:
reminded me when i had some 'strange' behaviour from bottles in freezers as well.. i ut them in and took them out ... with it still being liquid inside...opened the cap...BOOM completly solid ice within seconds (my reaction: "WTF ?") and "bubbeling" started like insane...needless to say i put the cap on fast ;)
I gotta try that some time
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,817
37
Andover, MA
takao said:
reminded me when i had some 'strange' behaviour from bottles in freezers as well.. i ut them in and took them out ... with it still being liquid inside...opened the cap...BOOM completly solid ice within seconds (my reaction: "WTF ?") and "bubbeling" started like insane...needless to say i put the cap on fast ;)
You reduced the pressure and hence raised the freezing point on a solution that was near-freezing under higher pressure - result: instant freeze.
 

musicpyrite

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
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Cape Cod
jsw said:
Ah, but cans are much different than bottles. 12 oz aluminum cans are more restricted in their ability to stretch than 20 oz plastic bottles.
but still... it was a mess.... :(

and Coke, to me, doesn't taste as good after it's frozen then thawed.
 

aloofman

macrumors 68020
Dec 17, 2002
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Socal
Because it's plastic, I don't think it would explode, so I agree with the others on that. If it does rupture, it will be mostly frozen, so I imagine it will be mostly about leaking, not spraying. My experience has been that if very much of the soda has frozen, its flavor is ruined though.

I too have experienced the same problem with frozen soda cans that musicpyrite mentions. In the case of cans, the aluminum can't withstand that much expansion, so the metal ruptures long before most of the soda freezes. That makes for a lot of spraying liquid. In this case it was a refrigerator whose thermostat was turned all the way down by the moron who repaired it at a rental house. My dad didn't discover that it had broken until weeks later. The soda had frozen to the walls inside and the whole thing had to be defrosted just to clean it.