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Determine the best insulator from a range of materials.

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Introduction

Aim To determine the best insulator from a range of materials. Fair Testing Independent variable - Time Dependent variable - Temperature Control - Can, Volume of water, thermometer. Prediction & Theory I think the acrylic fluff will be the best insulator because it traps air around the can. Air is a good insulator because the particles are spaced out a lot so its harder for particles to pass heat energy on to other particles, this is conduction. However the can was also transferring energy to the surroundings by convection and radiation. Convection is when hot air rises which would meat heat energy would be transferred in the form of water vapour. Radiation is when heat energy is transferred from the source into the surroundings by invisible electromagnetic waves called infrared. Apparatus Tin cans, Insulating materials, Kettle, Water, Elastic bands, Polystyrene Lids, Stopwatch Method: 1) Wrap one layer of one type of material around a can and use an elastic band to secure it. ...read more.

Middle

68 66 64 8 69 60 68 65 64 9 68 60 67 64 62 10 67 60 66 63 62 11 66 59 65 62 60 12 65 58 65 62 59 13 65 57 65 61 59 14 63 55 64 60 58 15 63 55 64 60 57 Temperature Drop: 15 13 12 14 17 2nd Table Of Results Time (min) Foil *C Bubble Wrap *C Acrylic Fluff *C Polystyrene *C Plain Can *C 0 80 76 75 91 74 1 79 74 76 90 71 2 77 72 74 88 70 3 75 71 72 87 69 4 73 69 71 86 67 5 72 68 70 84 66 6 71 67 69 82 65 7 70 66 68 81 64 8 69 65 68 80 64 9 68 64 67 79 62 10 68 64 66 78 62 11 67 64 65 77 60 12 66 63 65 76 59 13 66 63 65 75 59 14 65 61 64 74 58 15 65 61 64 72 57 Temperature Drop: 15 ...read more.

Conclusion

This causes a chain affect across the solid until the heat energy is at the outside of the solid and been transferred to the surroundings. Evaluation I think my investigation went well and we got a good set of results, which were the results I expected which I stated in my prediction, which was that the Acrylic fluff would be the best insulator and the polystyrene would be the worst insulator. I think to take our investigation further we could continue it for longer until the temperature stops dropping. This would give us a more complete set of results and we would be able to draw better conclusions from it. However has can be seen on the graph there were a few anomalous results. I think I could have improved the accuracy of our results by using a digital thermometer to get exact temperature measurements. Another way to improve the accuracy of my results would be to make sure the starting temperature was the same or has near as possible to each other because the rate of cooling may change has the water cools down. Investigation Into Insulating Materials ...read more.

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