Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Question - To see which material insulates a hot drink the best.

Equipment -
- 5 different types of material - cardboard, cloth, foam/polystyrene, plastic and tinfoil.
- 5 cups/mugs (the same kind)
- sellotape
- boiling water (the same amount in each cup)
- thermometer
- timer

Hypothesis -
I think that the foam/cardboard will be the best insulator because it is thick and it'll trap the steam in the air like material. I think that the cloth will be the worst insulator because it is quite thin and has lot's of holes in it.

Method -
- Boil the jug.
- Prepare each cup by putting the material around it and on top of it.
- Record the temperature of the water.
- Pour the same amount of water into each cup.
- Put the lids on the cups and set the timer for 10 minutes.
- When the 10 minutes is up take the temperature again of each cup and record which has stayed the hottest.
Results -
All of the water in the mugs started of at 77C
This is the placings and statistic of each mug/cup -
1st - foam/polystyrene at 63C so it dropped 14C.
2nd equal - cloth and cardboard they both ended up at 58C dropping 19C.
3rd - plastic bag at 57C dropping 20C.
and in last place was the tinfoil at 55C dropping 22C.

Conclusion -
We were correct that the foam/polystyrene was the best. but our hypothesis for the worst insulator was way off. The cloth turned out to be very good placing 2nd. It was a big surprise when the tinfoil placed last I think it shows that tinfoil is better at keeping solids hot then liquids.

By Jenna

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