In this experiment, we will determine the effectiveness of recycled material as thermal insulator among fiberglass, wood shaving, polystyrene, polyurethane, perlite, cellulose, bubble wrap, and polyethylene foil.
To analyze the effectiveness of recycled material as thermal insulator to find out which recycled material will work as the most effective thermal insulator.
1. The material which stops or reduces heat loss is known as a thermal insulator.
2. The decrease in heat transfer between different objects that are kept in contact is termed thermal insulation.
1. Two boxes of particle board
2. A 100-watt light bulb
3. Aluminum reflector lamp
4. Digital thermometer
Step 1: Construct two boxes out of the particle board.
Step 2: Saw congruent pieces from each recycled insulating material.
Step 3: Place one insulating material in one of the boxes. The other box will work as a controller.
Step 4: In an aluminum reflector lamp, place a 100-watt bulb.
Step 5: Place this lamp in both boxes.
Step 6: Check the temperature of each of the boxes using a digital thermometer.
Step 7: Turn on the bulb.
Step 8: Start a stopwatch.
Step 9: Heat the box up to 30 degrees Celsius, above room temperature.
Step 10: Record the temperature of the box using the same thermometer.
Step 11: Now, turn off the light bulb.
Step 12: Record the decreasing temperature.
Step 13: Note the time when the temperature reached 25 degrees celsius.
Step 14: Likewise, test all the remaining insulative material five times. Each time the second box will work as a controller.
Step 15: Record your observations.
1. The recycled cellulose material took on an average of 83 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
2. The recycled fiberglass material took on an average of 75 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
3. The recycled polyurethane material took on an average of 42 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
4. The recycled fiberglass material took on an average of 75 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
5. The recycled perlite and wood-shaving material took on an average of 32 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
6. The bubble wrap took the least amount of time to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius, which is 25 minutes.
7. The control box took on an average of 20 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
1. The cellulose and fiberglass took the longest time to cool down to 25 degrees celsius among all the six recycled materials.
2. There is only one disadvantage of using cellulose as thermal insulation is that it takes on an average of 25 minutes to heat up to 30 degrees Celsius.
3. This can prove helpful in the summer season, but in winter, it will require more time to get heated.
4. Fiberglass also took a long time to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius. It is the ideal thermal insulator as it heats up within no time (12 minutes) and also conserves heat energy by trapping.
5. Materials with foil were a better thermal insulator (polyurethane, polystyrene) than the material without any foil (polystyrene, bubble wrap).
1. Carefully place the 100-watt bulb inside the box.
2. Record your observation precisely.
In this experiment, we found the most effective recycled material for thermal insulation.
Q. 1 What was the aim of your experiment?
ANS. We aimed to determine which recycled material would work as the most effective thermal insulator.
Q.2 Which material took the most time to cool down?
ANS. The cellulose took 83 minutes to cool down to 25 degrees Celsius.
Q.3 Which material is the ideal thermal insulator?
ANS. The fiberglass proved to be the ideal thermal insulator as it heats up in just 12 minutes and also conserves heat energy by trapping.
Q.4 Why is foiled material a better thermal insulator than unfoiled material?
ANS. It is because foiled material reflects heat.
Q.5 What is the drawback of using cellulose as a thermal insulator?
ANS. Cellulose takes a longer time to heat up. For instance, in our experiment, it took 25 minutes to heat up to 30 degrees Celsius.
Saquib Siddiqui is a Mechanical Engineer with expertise in science projects and experiments. Saquib’s work focuses on integrating scientific concepts with practical applications, making complex ideas accessible and exciting for learners of all ages. In addition to his practical work, Saquib has authored several articles, research papers, and educational materials.