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Dry Ice vs. Gel Packs

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by travis

When trying to determine what refrigerant your product will require, the most important factor to consider is your desired temperature range.  While dry ice and gel packs for shipping both have they’re strengths and weaknesses, the main difference comes in their temperature.  Gel packs, like K-Lock™ Synthetic Gel Packs, are water based.  This means that they freeze and thaw at roughly the same temperature as water would, around 0°C (32°F).  Dry ice is much colder, maintaining a temperature of around -78.5°C (-109.3°F) as it sublimates and becomes CO2 gas.  If your product needs to arrive in a hard freeze, and there is no lower temperature boundary, then dry ice may be a good option for you.  Many products, like some medications, cannot be kept at the extremely cold temperatures of dry ice.  Other products simply do not require this much refrigeration.  For products like these, gel packs for shipping are a great alternative.  They do not get to the extremely cold temperatures that dry ice does, and will actually last longer, generally keeping the pack out between 2° and 8°C depending on the weight and starting temperature of the product.  If you are unsure if gel packs are right for you and your business, contact Cooler Warehouse for more information!