Thermal insulators.

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Zeadon Jamil

Thermal insulators


To investigate different materials for the most effective thermal insulator for a house.


Heat transfer is the gain and loss of energy.

There are three ways in which thermal energy can be transferred:

  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Radiation

Conduction – this is when energy travels from molecule to another.  When one molecule receives energy it begins to vibrate and hits other molecules and makes them vibrate. And will spread throughout the object.

Convection – this will only occur in gases and liquids.  When heat is applied to the bottom of the substance, it will heat it up.  When it heats up, it will rise to the top, forcing colder areas towards the heat source and then they will receive energy and rise to the top, etc.

Radiation – it travels in waves.  When it hits a molecule it makes it vibrate.

I will be concentrating on conduction, as this is the main way in which thermal energy is transferred lost from housing.  Which means that I need something that is a bad thermal conductor (good thermal insulator) to keep the amount of conduction to a bare minimum?

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I am planning to test five materials (paper, cling film, cloth, bubble wrap and plastic) and one control, three times and find the average (to ensure accuracy).  Whichever material changes the temp of the water the least is the best insulator.

I will wrap them around a 200ml beaker (no lid) and fill it with 200ml of boiling water. Then I’ll take the temp eleven times:  once at the beginning, and once every min for a period of ten minutes.

Equipment List

Stop watch – 1

Thermometer – 6

200ml beakers – 6

Kettle – 1


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This is a well written and structured report. 1. The sources of information need to be referenced. 2. There are several pieces of information in the wrong section. 3. The evaluation should suggest further research opportunities. ****