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# Defrosting Plate Design

Defrosting Plate
Prototype CMJ3
Group 8:

Christian Alcordo
Mike Mian
Joshua Barnett
James Rai

Problem Statement
Design a defrosting plate to speed up defrosting of flat food
items such as frozen steaks and packaged vegetables and
evaluate its performance using the finite difference method
(see reference problem). Compare your design to the
defrosting plates currently available on the market. The plate
must perform well, and it must be suitable for purchase and
use as a household utensil, durable, easy to clean, easy to
manufacture, and affordable. The frozen food is expected to
be at an initial temperature of -18C at the beginning of the
thawing process and 0C at the end with all the ice melted.
Specify the material, shape, size, and thickness of the
proposed plate. Justify your recommendations by
calculations. Take the ambient and surrounding surface
temperatures to be 20C and the convection heat transfer
coefficient to be 15 W/m2 C in your analysis. For a typical
case, determine the defrosting time with and without the

Assumptions
1. The heat transfer is one dimensional for both steaks and plate.
2. The steaks are taken to be a nearly circular, singular steak.
3. Because of the low specific heat of the plate, it is assumed that the
plate loses all heat gained from surroundings, to the steak.
4. Thermal properties, heat transfer coefficients, the surrounding air
and surface temperature of the plate remain constant during the
defrosting process.
5. The bottom surface of the plate is contacted by a kitchen
countertop, which is taken to be an insulating material.

Numerical Modeling
As mentioned, all heat transfer is taken to be one dimensional due to the aspect ratio of the steaks and plate. The upper surface
of the steaks (taken to be one mass of steak, circular in geometry) is undergoing heat transfer due to convection, and the bottom
surface due to heat flux from the plate. The bottom surface of the steak is assumed to make near perfect contact with the smooth
plate surface. The plate is undergoing heat transfer due to convection on the entirety of its exposed face, with the exception of
the area that ecompases the steak-plate flux interface.
The steak was discretized along its thickness while the plate was discretized radially, along a series of concentric circles
constituting a locus of nodes.
It was found by the numerical model that copper had the fastest defrosting time, aluminum with the next fastest, followed by cast
iron, and lastly, with the slowest defrosting time was stainless steel.

Material Selection
Things to Consider:
- Thermal Conductivity
- Thermal Diffusivity
- Durability
- Toxicity
- Cost

## Material Selection (contd)

Materials that will be considered:
- Copper
- Aluminum
- Cast Iron
- Carbon Steel
- Stainless Steel

Copper
Pros:
- High thermal
diffusivity
- High thermal
conductivity
- Low specific heat

Cons:
- Easily
tarnished/scratched
- Prone to oxidation
- Costly

Aluminum
Pros:
- Low cost
- Light weight
- High thermal
diffusivity
- High thermal
conductivity

Cons:
- Reactive to acidic
ingredients
- Prone to warping
under high heat
- Easily scratched
- High specific heat

Cast Iron
Pros:
-Cheap compared to Cu and Al
-Lower specific heat than Al
-Extremely durable, very low
maintenance
-

Cons:
-Prone to thermal shock
-Excessive cleaning may
damage seasoning,
therefore may not be
sanitary
-Not as conductive as Cu
or Al

Carbon Steel
Pros:
- Fast seasoning
process

Cons:
- Low thermal
conductivity
- Low thermal
diffusivity

Stainless Steel
Pros:
- Very durable
- Corrosion resistant

Cons:
- Low thermal
conductivity
- Low thermal
diffusivity

Reasoning:
-

## Copper is a great conductor of heat.

Due to its high heat diffusivity, the plate will react to temperature
changes quickly, and therefore dish out the heat energy stored
rapidly.
Cost is an issue, but considering the decrease in time defrosting,
and the less bacteria contaminating the food, it seems worth it.
Even though it prone to tarnishing, oxidization, and scratching
easily, with proper care and cleaning it can be avoided and retain
its appearance indefinietly.

Dimensions
- A round shape was chosen.
= 15 [cm]
- Thickness = 01 [cm]

Comparison
CMJ3 (Copper) vs. Gourmet Trends Quick & EZ Defrosting
Tray (Aluminum)
-

Copper has a heat conductivity that is 1.69 times greater than that of
aluminum.
Copper has a heat diffusivity that is 1.20 times greater than that of
aluminum.
Copper has a more even heat distribution than aluminum.
Copper is 3.42 times more dense than aluminum, which therefore
means that it has a lower specific heat, precisely 520 J/kg*K less than
that of aluminum.

Comparison (contd)
- From previous testimonials/reviews, the
average time for the Alminum Product to defrost
the steak would be around 30 minutes.
- The theoretical average time for the Copper
Product will be approximately 4 minutes.
- Therefore defrosting time for CMJ3 is
significantly less than that of the EZ Defrosting
Tray.

Market Product

References
-

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/120/Common-Materials-of-Coo
kware

http://store.cressonsteel.com/scrappricing.aspx
http://www.amazon.com/Gourmet-Trends-Quick-Defrosting-Tray/dp/B003
R248Q0