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Biochemistry science fair project
What type of cup is better for keeping hot drinks?




Project Information
Title: What type of cup is better for keeping hot drinks?
Subject: Chemistry
Subcategory: Insulation Materials
Grade level: Primary School - Grades K-3
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: 1st Place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair ($50)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2014
Materials: Cups of different types (stainless steel, ceramic, glass, paper, plastic, styrofoam, etc.), hot water, thermometer
Concepts: Thermal insulation
Description: Cups are filled with hot water, water temperature is checked over time, results tabulated and compared.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2014/lind14m
Short Background

Thermal insulation

Thermal insulation is the reduction of heat transfer (the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature) between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Thermal insulation can be achieved with specially engineered methods or processes, as well as with suitable object shapes and materials.

Heat flow is an inevitable consequence of contact between objects of differing temperature. Thermal insulation provides a region of insulation in which thermal conduction is reduced or thermal radiation is reflected rather than absorbed by the lower-temperature body.

Clothing can help control the temperature of the human body.

Building insulation refers broadly to any object in a building used as insulation for any purpose. While the majority of insulation in buildings is for thermal purposes, the term also applies to acoustic insulation, fire insulation, and impact insulation (e.g. for vibrations caused by industrial applications). Often an insulation material will be chosen for its ability to perform several of these functions at once.

Space heating and cooling systems distribute heat throughout buildings by means of pipe or ductwork. Insulating these pipes using pipe insulation reduces energy into unoccupied rooms and prevents condensation from occurring on cold and chilled pipework.

Internal combustion engines produce a lot of heat during their combustion cycle. This can have a negative effect when it reaches various heat-sensitive components such as sensors, batteries and starter motors. As a result, thermal insulation is necessary to prevent the heat from the exhaust reaching these components.

Some of the best insulation materials: aerogel, cork, cotton, flax, glass, wool, paper, polystyrene, straw and wood.

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_insulation

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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