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Which Material is the Best Insulator?

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Which Material is the Best Insulator? Introduction This practical investigation involves investigating what kinds of materials are best at keeping water in a boiling tube 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 of heat occurs mainly in solids. This process is where vibrating particles pass their extra vibration energy to neighbouring particles. Convection of heat only occurs in liquids and gasses. Convection occurs when the more energetic particles move from the hotter region to the cooler region taking their energy with them. Radiation of heat can also be called infer-red radiation. Heat radiation can travel through a vacuum. This process is different from the other two it travels in straight lines and at the speed of light. This is the only way heat can reach us from the sun. Heat radiation travels through transparent media like air, glass, and water. No particles are involved in this process it is the transfer of heat energy purely by waves. In this investigation I will be looking at conduction of heat through the boiling tube. ...read more.


I shall put cotton wool and the thermometer at the top of the boiling tube. The cotton wool will secure the thermometer and seal the boiling tube. I will record the temperature of the water over a 6oo second period. I will take the temperature every 30 seconds. I will repeat this for each material three times allowing me to achieve ad accurate result. I will repeat this for each of the above materials recording my results in a table as I conduct my investigation. Once I have completed this method for all the materials, I will then conduct the method using no material. This will enable me to watch and observe the effect of any type of insulation. Fair Testing Throughout conducting my investigation I will take a number of precautions to ensure my experiments fair. � The water starts at the same temperature. This will enable me to assess the cooling rate accurately. � The same amount of water is used. Different amounts of water will largely affect the cooling rate making the experiment inaccurate. � The same amount of material is used. ...read more.


It also showed to what extent the factors affected the efficiency of the insulator. I concluded that the best insulator was the Blues Knitted Acrylic material, and also put the other materials in order of efficiency. I think my results achieved my aim and matched my prediction. Evaluating the Investigation The investigation was fair and the experiments I conducted achieved the required results. The experiments were accurate and produced correct answers with no anomalous results. 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. The method I chose to use was successful and worked well within the investigation, it was stable and fair. I would not change the method if I repeated the investigation. Overall I think my investigation was successful as it achieved the required results fairly and accurately. ...read more.

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