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Why are wooden rod usually supplied for ice cream cream bars?

This appears to hold for every commercial ice cream bar ns have ever had, yet ns can"t discover the reason... Why not usage plastic instead, for example?

I am no an expert, yet I presume plastic have the right to be cheaper come manufacture...

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Seems prefer there's a many wild massive guessing going on in the answers. It would be amazing to watch a reliable, sourced argument.
rumtscho uneven someone's delving into large-scale popsicle manufacture i agree that this concern is more theoretical 보다 practical. That said, i think beneficial answers are perfectly possible for this question. Athanasius' answer is a an excellent example yet relies ~ above the unsourced and also doubtful prize by Memj. If someone took the time to call a major manufacturer for input that can lead come a perfect answer. I would close a concern if that invited only sub-standard answers however not for having low-quality answer when good ones might still it is in submitted.
–user25798
Aug 5 "15 at 15:57


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One element is tradition. The popsicle was supposedly developed by frank Epperson once he left a drink mixture on the porch overnight in v a wooden stirrer in it. (Some historians have actually questioned this narrative, however, offered that Epperson claimed this occurred in 1905 in san Francisco, but weather records present that it never acquired cold sufficient in the 1905 winter there because that Epperson"s story to hold up.) The selection of wood, follow to this traditional story, was somewhat accidental, though given that plastics were not yet easily accessible in 1905, Epperson"s main options for stirring would probably have been steel or wood. (And obviously metal would it is in uncomfortable to host in a frozen treat, nevertheless of even if it is this beginning story is true or not.)

In any case, Epperson later patented his creation (including the wooden stick) in Oakland in 1923 and started offering them. Again, this would have been too early for plastic to it is in a reasonable alternative, so component of the factor for wood popsicle rod may just be the they space traditional and also familiar to customers.

A company seeking to do a adjust away from such a heritage would require motivation, one of two people an financial reason (a cheaper however still agree product) or an really product improvement. Provided that wood popsicle sticks space intended to it is in disposable and already role well, business economics would be a main reason to switch, if there were a cheaper material. But Memj"s answer is exactly here. It"s straightforward economics: lumber is cheaper in this case, which is the factor it is supplied for various little uniform disposable items indigenous toothpicks to chopsticks, utilizing modern technology that has been in vast use due to the fact that the early 1900s. (For an ext information on the reason for production and procedure on producing tiny wooden item cheaply, I"d recommend Henry Petroski"s book The Toothpick: modern technology and Culture.)

It"s additionally important to keep in mind that part businesses actually have actually experimented v disposable plastic sticks. The most common form were so-called Elsie Stix or Icetix, i beg your pardon were spread by Borden dairy product in the U.S. They were intended to be collectible and also manufactured to be offered as toys after serving their objective in the ice cream bar. (See photos and also further description here and here, because that example.)

I would keep in mind that this sticks conveniently solved potential problems brought up in several of the various other answers: A collection of holes permitted the popsicle to it is in frozen v the plastic and thus added to adhesion. And the holes also decreased heat mass and heat transfer, which would certainly negate any kind of potential discomfort from holding a piece of cold plastic, which seems to it is in a strange problem to me anyhow.**

In any type of case, this plastic sticks were undoubtedly more expensive to manufacture, however they were marketed together a novelty item. And their interlocking nature and use as a toy required civilization to buy more popsicles to construct with them, thereby giving an financial incentive to justify the included expense.

Without such an financial incentive because that "standard" disposable popsicle sticks, and also with wooden sticks gift traditional, there"s little reason because that businesses to make a switch to plastic.

** an ext details about thermal properties: While some plastics are somewhat better at transferring heat than wood, there room many species of plastic which would certainly not be remarkable uncomfortable contrasted to wood in a small stick, even if they were solid. Note that the thermal conductivity of plenty of standard plastics is approximately 0.2-0.3 W/m-K, only roughly twin that the wood, which is around 0.13 W/m-K. Compare the to many metals, which can actually frozen one"s hand come them, which have conductivities which space hundreds of times the big. Details heat is roughly the very same for plastic and also wood, and also the density of most plastics is just a little greater than birch, i m sorry is a standard wood for popsicle sticks. Bottom line is the plastic popsicle sticks would absorb warmth somewhat much more quickly and also stay chillier a little longer, but not enough to produce significant discomfort because that a small, thin item of plastic.

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But, theory aside, one can easily buy recycle plastic sticks for homemade popsicles -- simply search Amazon because that "plastic popsicle sticks". (Here"s a review comparing 26 different varieties of plastic molds, practically all with plastic sticks/handles.) and also I don"t think I"ve ever before seen a evaluation complaining around discomfort in holding them. I"ve likewise seen multitudes of infant teething toys, because that example, which space meant to be frozen and are made the end of plastic: the idea the a "damp hand freezing" to a little thin item of plastic seems quite unlikely.