Induction heating versus ice

Glowing ball versus ice

How long does it take for a glowing steel ball to melt through a 20-centimetre-thick block of ice?
Engineers Bjørn Røsvik and Karl Biørn from EFD Induction Norway turned TV stars when they heated a massive steel ball to a glowing thousand degrees Celsius in front of a live studio audience.
Led by the popular television personality, Selda Ekiz, ‘All against 1’ is a live game show for the whole family, where one contestant competes against the viewers who participate via an app. The object is to find answers to various scientific questions – in this case: How long does it take for a glowing steel ball to melt through a 20-centimetre-thick block of ice?


The ball in question was a massive 160 millimetres, 17 kilos heavy lump of steel. Heating such a thing to 1000 degrees Celsius in a controlled manner is obviously a tricky thing in a studio, and this is where EFD Induction comes in. 


How long do you think it will take for the ball to melt through the ice? Give it your best guess before you watch the video! Thank you to NRK and Nordisk Film TV AS for the use of the video.



“It all began when the head of CenterStage, which is where the show is filmed, had an idea that this might be done with induction”, says Laboratory Supervisor Karl Biørn. “So, he googled ‘induction’ and found us.”


The steel ball obviously required a custom-made coil and our very own coil expert, Bjarne Toreskaas, promptly made one to order. Karl and Bjørn went to the studio a few days in advance to test the glowing ball on four different thicknesses of ice. “So, we were pretty sure of the result”, says Section Manager Bjørn Røsvik. “However, we weren’t all that sure about things like electricity and water supply in the studio during the live broadcast.”

Luckily, everything went exactly as planned and the experiment was every bit as spectacular as they had hoped. Apart from the 800 000 thousand who watched the live broadcast, the Facebook video has been widely shared and seen by almost 150 000 people, so far.


“It was really fun to experience a live broadcast and get a glimpse behind the scene”, Bjørn and Karl agree. “And even though this was just for fun, we hope that for the people watching at home this was an eye-opener to the possibilities of induction heating.”