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In this investigation I aim to find out which materials are the best insulators. This practical investigation involves investigating what kinds of materials are best at keeping water in a copper beaker warm.

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Charlotte Wakefield Investigation - Insulating Materials Introduction In this investigation I aim to find out which materials are the best insulators. This practical investigation involves investigating what kinds of materials are best at keeping water in a copper beaker warm. A material that prevents this heat loss is called an insulator. Insulators have to prevent three types of heat loss: � Conduction � Convection � Radiation Conduction - This is where heat energy passes through the walls of the copper beaker by making the particles of the beaker vibrate which makes the particles next to them vibrate causing the heat to pass through the walls of the beaker to the surroundings. Materials that are good thermal conductors tend to be good electrical conductors; metals such as gold, silver and copper have high thermal conductivity's and will conduct heat well. Materials such as glass are poor heat conductors. Convection - This is where the cooler water particles sink down to the bottom and the warmer water particles float up to the top. Convection may affect my experiment if I do no seal the copper beakers with a lid. ...read more.


This is because when there is a high volume of water then the outside of the water will cool down, but the inside will stay warm. This will be kept constant at 100ml in each beaker. A measuring beaker will be used so that this can be kept constant throughout the experiment. * Temperature - Recording will start when the temperature of the water has reached 70 degrees c. A thermometer will be used to measure the temperature accurately. * Time - Recordings of temperature will be taken at 3 minute intervals for 15 minutes. A stopwatch will be used to ensure that time is measured accurately. * Insulating material - Each material will be wrapped around the beaker only once. Although the materials might be different in thickness etc. it is important that they cover the same area. Safety I will take a number of safety precautions whilst conducting the investigation. I will ensure the kettle is used safely through out the experiment, and hot water is transferred securely. I will take extra care when handling the boiling tubes when the hot water is present. Evidence Material Temp after 3 mins ( c) Temp after 6 mins ( c) Temp after 9 mins ( c) ...read more.


Warm air rises, and this means that heat would have escaped from the top of the beakers, therefore not giving accurate results. If I were to repeat the experiment I would seal the copper beakers with lids, therefore preventing heat loss from the top of the beakers. This may show a larger difference between the results for each material. If I conducted the experiment again I would use a wider variety of materials with a wider range of colours. I would want to do this because then I could investigate further into how the colour of the material effects my results. I would use the same material but in different colours for each test. I would also use the same colour material but in different textures e.g. woven pleated, platted, knitted etc. This would enable a more accurate evaluation of results. To provide additional and relevant evidence for furthur investigations, any of the current variables could be changed. For example, the time scale used in this experiment could be extended, or recordings taken from a wider range of temperatures e.g. recordings could have begun from 10 degrees c. Different materials could also be used for different results. Sources used: > Key science Physics > www.homeworkhigh.com ...read more.

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