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Investigating What Makes a Better Insulator

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Length: 1457 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)
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Investigating What Makes a Better Insulator

Aim: to investigate the various materials are good or bad insulators.

Intro

I think that in my experiment, I am going to discover that some
materials are better insulators than others. I will be looking at
different various types of insulators and I will be testing these
materials. I will be testing these materials to see which the best
insulator is and what bad insulators are. I am trying to see what
material looses its trapped air easily and what material can hold the
trapped air the longest. I think that the thickest material will keep
the trapped air the longest and the thinnest material will loose it
trapped air the fastest. I also think the more layers of materials
will decrease the heat loose of its object.

Prediction: In my prediction I think that the fur would be the best
insulator because it is used to make clothing that keeps us warm
everyday. I think that bubble wrap would be the weaker insulator of
the two because it is not used often to keep things warm, but is more
likely to be used to keep something from getting broken.

Hypothesise: Some jackets are made of fur, to keep people warm or
because it is very trendy, the fur traps the heat and allows little
heat to be lost. The fur only allows little draft to come in side the
material and also allows a little heat to be lost on the outside. The
bubble wrap is used to keep fragile objects protected; the bubble wrap
has trapped air in little bubbles this is to protect the fragile
object when it falls and work as a shock absorber.

Theory:

In my research I found out that the more layers of cloths is warmer
than having just one thick layer of clothing. This is because when
heat is trying to escape the body. The heat has to travel through lots
of layers than just one thick layer. This is because the heat will get
trapped as it travels through the clothing. This is like Modern cavity
walls. Each wall is made from two single brick walls separated by a
gap or cavity. The air in the cavity is a good insulator, but
convection currents can transfer energy out of the top of the wall.
Builders can fill the gap with glass fibre when they build the wall.
This is called cavity wall insulation. The fibres trapped air and stop
convection currents. You can also inject foam into existing cavity
walls. The payback time fir the cavity walls insulation is between
three and six years.

In my past knowledge and experience I know that material can be
effected by three main causes

-Conduction

In conduction the particles vibrate slowly at first, as they absorb
heat energy they vibrate faster. They pass the vibration to the
adjoining particle. The energy (heat) is transferring along the metal
rod. Conduction can only occur in solids as the particles are too far
apart. Conduction is the flow of the heat through matter of places of
higher temperature places of lower temperature without movement of the
matter as a whole.

[IMAGE]


[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]Red:
Heat

[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]
Blue: Cold

This picture indicates the particles in a rod; the red particles show
the conduction in process and how the energy (heat) is getting pass to
the other end of the rod the colder part of the rod.

-Convection

When the particles are heated they rise. This is because the hotter
the particles are less dense. When they reach the top, they start to
cool down; their density increases so they fall. Convection is the
flow of heat through a fluid from places of higher temperature to
places of lower temperature by movement of the fluid itself.

[IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE][IMAGE]

In this picture the arrows show the direction of were the convection
is taking place. The arrow

Indicates the energy (heat) rising and then falling. When energy
(heat) is at the top of the ceiling it cools down and then drops back
down.

-Radiation

This is a pure energy wave e.g. the sun’s heat reaching the earth.
There is no need for particles. Radiation is the flow of heat from one
place to another by means of electromagnet waves. Dull black surfaces
are better absorbers of radiation than white shiny surfaces. Black
surfaces can also loose its Energy faster than shiny surfaces.

[IMAGE]

Method:

In my experiment I will be carry out a test to see if polystyrene is a
good insulator. I will be repeating the experiment several times to
make sure my results are very accurate. In my test I will be measuring
how much hot water I put into the polystyrene cup and then measure the
temperature of the hot water in the cup. I will repeat this process
and then start to add different materials to the polystyrene cup. I
will be adding the exact amount of hot water every time I repeat this
process. I will be recording the time every minute and will repeating
the process several times to make it very accurate.

Safety

In my test I will make sure that my experiment is safe by making sure
that I do use the right equipment. I must also make sure that I don’t
burn myself with the hot water and be aware of the people in front of
me when am holding the hot water.

Equipment

In my experiment I use the following-

1. -1 measuring flask: to measure how much water I pour in my tin
can.

2. -1 tin can : a metal material can that is easily absorbing heat
and loose heat

3. -1 thermometer: Measures the temperature within its surroundings

4. -1 bubble wrap: is an insulator that has trapped air, is made of
polystyrene.

5. -1 fur: is an insulator that traps heat in its fur, made from
animal skin

6. -1 stop watch: to measure the speed of something or time
something.

7. -3 elastic bands: is stretchy and is easily expandable, helps
hold things or objects.

Accuracy test

My results 1

Insulator

Room Temp before

Temp after 1 min

Temp after 2 min

Temp after 3 min

Temp after 4 min

Temp after 5 min

Volumes

Polystyrene

22*c

78*c

75*c

73*c

72*c

70*c

100

Polystyrene cup with bubble wrap

22*c

82*c

79*c

76*c

74*c

72*c

100

Polystyrene with Fur

22*c

81*c

78*c

74*c

72*c

70*c

100

In these results they indicate to me that the polystyrene cup wrapped
in bubble wrap is the best insulator of the three. This is because
trapped air in the bubble wrap allows very little heat out very slowly
or reduces the heat loss in the polystyrene cup. The polystyrene cup
by itself is the worst insulator of the three and this because there
are no layers of material around the cup to help reduce the heat loss.

My results 2

Room Temp before

Temp after 1 min

Temp after 2 min

Temp after 3 min

Temp after 4 min

Temp after 5 min

Volumes

Polystyrene

22*c

77*c

76*c

74*c

72*c

70*c

100

Polystyrene cup with bubble wrap

22*c

81*c

78*c

75*c

73*c

71*c

100

Polystyrene with Fur

22*c

79*c

76*c

74*c

72*c

71*c

100

Still in my results this table has again proven that the polystyrene
cup with the bubble wrap is the most reliable insulator of the three
and is the best of keeping the energy (heat) inside its container. The
polystyrene cup itself is also again the worst insulator and easily
looses its heat.

My Results 3

Room Temp before

Temp after 1 min

Temp after 2 min

Temp after 3 min

Temp after 4 min

Temp after 5 min

Volumes

Polystyrene

22*c

76*c

74*c

73*c

71*c

70*c

100

Polystyrene cup with bubble wrap

22*c

80*c

78*c

74*c

73*c

71*c

100

Polystyrene with Fur

22*c

78*c

75*c

74*c

72*c

71*c

100

My last result show how stable my experiment was. This proves that my
test is very accurate and went very well. The test shows that the
polystyrene cup with the bubble wrap is still the best insulator and
that there is no doubt that is the best insulator of the three. The
polystyrene cup with fur is a good insulator but still allows more
heat loss than polystyrene in bubble wrap.

Conclusion

In my experiment I discover that bubble wraps a good insulator and how
it is very good at keeping trapped air. I also learnt in my experiment
that there are 3 main things that can reduce heat or produce heat;
they are radiation, convection and conduction. I also learnt that
objects that are black are good at absorbing heat energy but can very
easily loose that heat energy very fast. This is why black is used on
the back of fridges to get the heat out and keep the fridge cool. I
also know that silver and shiny objects are good at reflecting heat
energy but losses its heat energy very slow.

In my predication I thought that the polystyrene cup with the fur
would be the best insulator because it was thick. I disagree with my
prediction because the bubble wrap was a better insulator than the
fur. This means that the bubble wrap is better at keeping trapped air
than the fur.

Evaluation

In my practical my results were successful because I follow my method
in which was a successful experiment but could have been better,
because I found it hard getting the temperature of the water equal
each time to make it a fair test. I was not sure if the water was
hotter than it was meant to be or cooler. My experiment could have
been a better experiment if I had more time to make sure if everything
was accurate, and take more care with the experiments. In my
Experiments the test results look very unstable and inaccurate at
first, so I did it three times to make sure that I did not go wrong in
my first experiment. When I had first look at my results I thought I
had done mistakes in my experiments but all the tests were positive
and I did not go wrong, and had found out that the bubble wrap was the
best insulator. I think that if I knew the exact temperature of the
hot water it would give a more accurate test result and this could
give me a more reliable result. In my experiments I still think that I
have carry out a successful experiment because the test results are
reliable and they all have the same pattern in each test I carry out.
I think that my results are reliable because I carry it out three
times which should give me very accurate result; I think that I am
able to write a good conclusion with my result because I did not have
much trouble doing my practical.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Investigating What Makes a Better Insulator." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Apr 2014
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=148305>.




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