This article's name is conjectural. Although this article is based on official information, the actual name of the article's subject is pure conjecture.
Freezing Machines are unknown radiators, which can be part of Zone's structures or simple gimmicks being set around. When the player touches it, it will turn into ice block for few seconds with other possible results. These icy radiators are seen in multiple games in Sonic the Hedgehog series.
Sonic the Hedgehog CD
In Sonic the Hedgehog CD, they are found at Wacky Workbench as grey icy exhausts firing cold flame endlessly from the wide exhaust. They are usually located on sharp ceiling sections and elaborate corridors, which the player has to get pass through. However these ice exhausts are harmful, as the player has to avoid and move below them when they are not active. This can be tricky especially while going under the sharp ceiling section (set on bottom center) by using moving, spinning platform, due right timing being extremely hard during that.
However if the player runs to the blue flame, it will turn Sonic (or Tails in 2011 re-release version) into a round-shaped ice block with him being frozen in a comically amused pose. The ice block will down to the ground,and after braking out due the crash, the player is able to get damaged, but it is possible to press A-button to jump at the right time without losing anything.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, freezing machines are seen set on ice ceilings in IceCap Zone. These machines start firing freezing air down on the player, if he/she stays too long beneath them, with the playable character getting trapped inside an ice block and taking damage a few seconds later. The player cannot destroy these freezing machines, meaning he/she has to simply avoid them. If the player plays as Sonic and has Tails following him during gameplay, Tails can help Sonic out the ice block before he takes damage. However there is a chance that he gets frozen by freezing machines as well.
Freezer Mobile in IceCap Zone Act 2 has the same functionality as freezing machines, as the player has to avoid the robot's freezing air blasts.
Sonic 3D Blast
In Sonic 3D Blast, purple and yellow colored snow blower poles appear in Diamond Dust Zone which can blow freezing air momentarily in a linear direction. When the player steps into the front of the snow blower pole, Sonic will be frozen in a ice cube while sliding along the ground. In order to release Sonic from the ice cube, the player has to press four times. While the player does not lose Rings from being frozen, the Flickies can fly away. However, if the player collides with a Badnik as a sliding ice cube, he/she will take damage.
In the certain automated section of Diamond Dust Zone Act 1, Sonic as ice cube can be seen sliding through the pathway to progress another section of the act. Robotnik's freezing mobile at Diamond Dust Zone Act 3 possesses a similar functionality; if the player touches the small pods on the mobile's side, Sonic will be frozen.
Sonic Advance 3
Similarly functioning machines also appears in Sonic Advance 3, where they can be found Twinkle Snow as placed on long gaps or right side of the high slope. Unlike in previous game, these machines don't hurt the player, as they are useful to get launched high on the air similarly like springs, while being frozen at same time. The characters will thaw out after they land on solid ground.
Sonic Lost World
In Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World, Frozen Factory features icy exhausts on floors and walls, which function similarity to the Freezing Machines from previous games. In this game, they will at certain times stop blowing icy air for several seconds, but will soon after resume. If the player runs into the front of the icy exhaust, Sonic turns into ice cube while moving back. However, the player can escape from the ice before taking damage. At certain sections, the player has to create a snowball to block the icy exhaust's vent.
E-series robot Ice Ball in Sonic Adventure has similar ability to turn the playable character into ice cube. While the player has to wait for playable character to shatter out of ice, the attack doesn't inflict damage.