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Find out which makes the best insulator.

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Science coursework Aim To find out which makes the best insulator. Materials to be tested Bubble wrap Wool Carpet underlay Polystyrene Curtain material Scientific knowledge Conduction Conduction transferred between solids through heat, thermal energy is passed through particles. Metal is an excellent conductor of heat as the particles in the metal are very close together. Solids conduct heat by vibration of one particle being passed on to the next when the to bump together and the process continues. It is the most important type of heat transfer in solids. Convection Thermal energy is transferred through particles in liquids and glasses, the particles do not have fixed positions they carry energy wherever they flow. As the heat is trapped and cannot escape it circulates. Air is heated and it rises when it cools it descends Radiation In radiation, which is known as infa-red as well, this is given off hot objects and is absorbed by black surfaces but reflected by shin or white surfaces. Radiation travels through waves and space. Heat objects radiate more heat than cold objects. Insulator An insulator is a material that will not allow heat to pass through it by conduction and it is a non-metal. ...read more.


Variables that are changed The room temperature changes gradually Materials overlapping Results 1 Material Minutes Carpet Polystyrene Wool Curtain Bubble wrap No wrap 0 88 89 89 90 89 92 1 84 84 86 87 87 88 2 83 83 85 86 85 86 T 3 82 82 85 85 84 85 E 4 81 81 85 84 83 85 M 5 80 80 83 83 83 83 P T 6 79 79 82 82 82 82 E I 7 78 78 81 81 81 81 R M 8 77 77 80 80 79 79 A E 9 77 77 79 78 79 79 T 10 76 76 78 76 79 79 U 11 75 75 77 75 78 78 R 12 75 75 76 74 77 77 E 13 74 74 75 72 77 77 14 73 73 75 71 75 75 15 73 73 74 70 75 75 Temperature In the first set of results I measured the temperature every one minute for fifteen minutes starting from 0. 2 Material Minutes Carpet Polystyrene Wool Curtain Bubble wrap No wrap 0 97 90 90 89 88 91 1 88 89 88 85 87 88 2 86 87 86 83 85 8 3 84 87 85 81 83 ...read more.


clearly state that Bubble wrap was the best insulator of heat. This was not my prediction as I predicted that the polystyrene would have been the best material but according to my results it was the second best insulator and it was bubble wrap that was the best. I have come to this conclusion through my averages as it states that bubble wrap has the lowest average temperature (15) therefore it is the best insulator of heat. The most inefficient material was the carpet; this material has the highest average temperature (20) so it is the worst insulator of heat. I predicted the polystyrene so my prediction was wrong. Evaluation My evaluation is that I could have done a couple of things that would have improved my results, these include: I could have made the material smaller so it would not overlap. If I had stirred the water every minute and so on for 15 minutes, the parts that heat has not reached would have spread making it so that the temperature reached all of the water and inside the can. The result would mean that there would be an increase in conduction making it more efficient. If I secured the lid on tighter as there was a gap while I was doing the experiments no heat would have been lost through convection ...read more.

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