The Chemistry of Hydroflasks


I chose to do the chemistry of a hydroflask. I chose this because I wanted to know how the insulation methods work. Hydroflask is a brand name for insulated food and drink containers. It can be used to keep food or drinks at the desired temperature.

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

The main chemical compounds of a hydroflask are the latex polymer, cis-isoprene, and the steel polymer. Both contain carbon, but more specifically the latex polymer contains compounds with carbon involved, for example, methylene, CH2. Also in the latex polymer are the compounds hydrocarbon and a methyl group, HC and CH3. The hydrocarbon and carbon are double bonded in the center of the compound. They are the repeating point. For steel a lot of simple elements are combined together and more specifically stainless steel is all elements combined to create steel with, by weight, 13% Chromium. Some of the main elements in steel are carbon, manganese, phosphorus, nickel and sulfur, but many others are needed. The latex polymer is the main structure in rubber. It is a compound that makes a moldable liquid that solidifies at room temperature, but is still flexible. Steel, much like latex, is the main compound in stainless steel making it an important compound for Hydroflasks. Steel is a mixture of organic compounds mixed together to create a durable metal.

Chemistry's Role

Chemistry plays a large role in the hydroflask. For example, steel with added chromium will make stainless steel. Chemistry is needed to understand the amount that can be added in certain situations. So, for stainless steel, 13% (by weight) Chromium must be added to the simple steel produced. By adding this amount of Chromium a passivation layer is created which will make the steel more durable & repellent to stains (taste or material). Hydroflask uses stainless steel to make cleaning the water bottle simpler and leaving no residue, food or drink. Another example, rubber, or the latex polymer, is created with mainly hydrogen and carbon in different compounds for what is necessary. The larger the polymer the greater mass of rubber and the more durable the rubber is. Rubber is a flexible product, but with more polymers closer together the rubber becomes more solid and less flexible. A final example, the vacuum seal. The process of creating a vacuum seal may not contain too much chemistry, but what it prevents are some main terms used in chemistry. With the vacuum seal it takes out all elements and leaves and empty space between the two metals. This creates insulation for the steel, but have you ever wondered why? Simply because conduction and convection is impossible to occur when there is nothing for them to act upon. Conduction is defined as the transfer of heat between two or more objects of matter and convection is defined as the transfer of heat because of the movement of liquids or gasses. Another term, radiation, is defined as the energy given off in particles or waves. Radiation is not completely impossible to occur in a vacuum seal since there's always a possibility for energy to radiate due to temperature or other factors. But with the vacuum seal the likeliness of radiation occurring is far more minimal than without the vacuum seal.

Background Research

Hydroflask was founded in 2009 and started with the first ever all insulated water bottle. After just two years their sales reached one million and they announced the first ever insulated growler. Later, they were recognized on Inc 500’s fastest growing company list. Their origin is in Bend, Oregon, but in 2015 they expanded their business into Europe. Not only are their products all insulated, but they're also the lightest weight. To go along with their quality products, they also have a quality workplace being voted Outside Magainze’s best place to work two consecutive years.


    • Chromium
    • Passivation layer
    • Elements included

    • Latex polymer
    • Procedure to get sap-like material from rubber tree

    • Honeycomb design

    • Vacuum seal (conduction, convection, radiation)

    • Definitions (conduction, convection, radiation)

    • Background information on hydroflask

    • Picture for latex polymer
    • Compounds in cis-polyisoprene

    • CH2 name

    • HC name

CH3 name

About the Author

Bailey Volbrecht is a junior at Billings Senior High School. She enjoys hikes and road trips. She also is on the volleyball, basketball and track team at Senior High.

  • Composition of ...
    • Steel (metal container) iron and carbon alloy
    • Rubber (lid) cis-isoprene or latex polymer
    • Passivation layer (layer outside of steel) Cr2O3