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Ever Wondered How Are Refrigerators Made?

Posted By: Erin White

commercial refrigeration

CC Image Courtesy of Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine on Flickr

The refrigerator: that thing in your house that holds some of your favorite things—beer, cheese, and leftovers. The machine that allows us to make just one trip to the supermarket per week (or even every two weeks) for all of our meals; the critically important invention that helps us keep our food fresh.

Many of us take refrigerators for granted. They’re simply a part of modern life and most of us couldn’t imagine our lives without them. And indeed, we’d be in trouble without them: it’s been estimated that about 50% of the world’s food would rot without refrigerators. However, for such a critical element in our lives, few of us understand or think about how they’re made. But the process is actually quite interesting.

Read on to learn how refrigerators are made.

Ice age

The concept of refrigeration began with ice. For centuries, humans have used ice to cool and preserve foods. The ancient Egyptians and Indians were among the first to discover the benefits and process of using ice to preserve food; at night they would leave trays of water outside, which would turn to ice. At the same time the Chinese were also discovering their own way to use ice. They didn’t have to “make” it, though; they went up into the mountains to collect it.

Once ancient people learned the benefits of ice, they began to study how to store it. It was discovered that insulated underground storage rooms could keep temperatures low for extended periods of time. This led to ice houses, which were basically walk-in coolers. These ice houses were really the first refrigerators.

Modern refrigerators

Refrigerators have, of course, evolved a lot since ancient times. In the relatively recent past, they were pretty simple. But as more and more features get developed and the science evolves, the process of assembling a refrigerator has gotten more complicated.

Generally, the outer cabinet and door are added first. Sheet metal is welded together to create the outer cabinet, and then the door is created with another piece of sheet metal. Manufacturers then add insulation (usually made of fiberglass) to the outer cabinet. Nowadays, the inner cabinet is often made of plastic. This inner cabinet is inserted into the outer cabinet and molded, ensuring that the two pieces fit together tightly.

The cooling system is made of copper that has been molded to make parts such as the condenser and coils. It is then usually attached to the inner cabinet.

Next, the refrigerator door is mounted on with hinges and screws. And lastly, accessories like the crisper, egg trays, and shelves and such are added. And before the product is shipped, it’s inspected for quality and pressure-tested.

So there you have it, folks—the making of a refrigerator from start to finish. Hopefully knowing a little more about how refrigerators are made helps you appreciate them a bit more! At Almcoe, we specialize in designing, installing, and maintaining these amazing commercial refrigeration systems. Read more about our services, installation, and equipment on our site.

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