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Mary Thomas
8th Grade, St. Vincent de Paul, Mount Vernon, OH

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Student science experiments

What Material Will Keep
The Warm Water The Warmest?

The purpose if the experiment was to determine the insulation of the different cloths to see which would conserve the energy in the water the most. Wrap the flannel, polyester, wool, terry-cloth, and cotton, around individual jars, and leave one unwrapped. Heat the water to 100 Co. Put 2 cups in each jar. Measure the water’s temperature after 5,10,15,30, and 60 minutes, and record. Repeat 6 times for each material. Average the 6 temperatures from each specific time, and record. The terry-cloth conserved the most energy. The terry-cloth was a solid material that was fluffy, so it provided the superior insulation because it had air spaces in between the fibers.

Research Paper

Insulation is an everyday need for winter days. People use it every day, and without it, people would be very cold. They have heat, but how would it stay in the building? Insulation does the job. When you think of everyday needs on a wintry day, most would think “heat, food, water, shelter, space, and air.” Only few would think of insulation. Insulation is wonderful, yet it’s not realized by most people.

An insulator can have many meanings. It can mean fat on a walrus, or fiberglass insulation sheets. The definition of insulation is a material that protects against heat or cold. Like on a summer day, the insulation in a fridge will keep the lemonade cold. Insulation has a little trick; a good conductor is a bad insulator.

There are several different types of insulation. There are categories for the different types, too. Some of the categories can be clothing materials, building materials, and even sound insulation materials. Some insulation materials that are good are objects and materials like wool, wood, straw, paper, and cork, along with some gases. Solids and gases are probably the best insulation. Liquids are good, but not the best.

Building insulation is very important. Without it, people would be uncomfortably cold or unbearably hot. There are about four types that are common: loose-fill, blankets, rigid foam, and liquid foam. Insulation makes a building more energy efficient, economical, and comfortable. Loose-fill and blankets are commonly used in attics. Rigid foam is usually used for applying externally. Liquid foam is usually used for wall cavities and to seal gaps.

States of matter are important to insulation constructors. They need to know which material is best for the object they are constructing. Solids and gases are very good, but liquid is okay. Good solids are and can be furs, blubber, wool, cloth, and other materials. Good and okay liquids can consist of water, melted metals, and other liquid materials. Good gases are air, helium, neon, and some others.

Heat transfer is also very important so that you know what to avoid. The process of heat transfer occurs when energy in the form of heat is exchanged between bodies at different temperatures. The three main ways heat is transferred are conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is the only heat transfer in solids. As a fact, good electrical conductors are good heat conductors. Glass and asbestos, though, are good insulators and bad conductors. Convection is where two bodies are in contact and they share the same heat. If two bodies are in contact, liquid or gas, fluid motion will occur. The process of conduction, between solid surface and moving liquid, is where heat is exchanged. For example, water is heated in the pan, and the liquid on the bottom expands and density decreases, with hot to the top and cold to the bottom, making a circulatory motion. The third heat transfer is when substances change heat and don’t have to touch; this is called radiation. Radiation is applied to electromagnetic-wave phenomena. Surfaces you can’t see through absorb or reflect incident radiation.

Heat and thermodynamics are different than heat transferring. Heat is the internal energy of matter. In gas, molecules are only held by the walls of the container when hot. Also, heat moves, more or less, freely between collisions.

People all over depend on insulation. Architects building a structure to live in need to know correct and cheap insulation to help make the building comfortable. It's the same with clothing designers and clothes, except different materials and uses. It all adds up when you want to keep warm. Insulation is definitely a use in modern day lives.

By Mary Thomas

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Student science experiments