What makes a good thermal insulator and why?
Materials that are good conductors of thermal energy are called thermal conductors. Metals are very good thermal conductors. Materials that are poor conductors of thermal energy are called thermal insulators. Gases such as air and materials such as plastic and wood are thermal insulators.
Some common insulator materials are glass, plastic, rubber, air, and wood. Insulators are used to protect us from the dangerous effects of electricity flowing through conductors. Sometimes the voltage in an electrical circuit can be quite high and dangerous.
- What are some good insulators of heat?
- Mineral Wool. Mineral Wool. Mineral wool actually refers to several different types of insulation.
- Cellulose. Cellulose Insulation Material. Cellulose insulation is perhaps one of the most eco-friendly forms of insulation.
- Polyurethane Foam. Polyurethane Insulation.
- Polystyrene. Polystyrene (Styrofoam).
- Metals are good conductors of heat. Air is a good insulator; so things which have air trapped in them, like cotton wool, sponge, fibre glass, fur and feathers, are good insulators. This is how animals and birds keep warm; but humans need clothes to keep warm.
- As a metal, aluminum foil is also a good conductor of electricity and heat. So why do we wrap food in aluminum foil to keep it warm if aluminum conducts heat so well. Another basic property of all metals is that they are all highly reflective. There are two properties that can make metal foil useful as insulation.
Wool fibers are woven tightly together, and are much thicker than other materials, such as cotton. They don't allow much heat to escape, which means they are great insulators. Fabrics like cotton and lace are breathable fabrics, meaning they allow a great deal of heat to escape.
- It is an insulated polyester batting, with a reflective Mylar weave, which helps reflect hot and cold. Use this lining to improve the functionality of your handmade items. This item helps to keep items warm or cool longer, making it useful for lunch sacks, outerwear or tea cozies.
- Insul-Bright consists of hollow, polyester fibers needlepunched through a nonwoven substrate and through a reflective mylar. The needled material is breathable and won't break down with washing. The hollow fibers resist conduction while the reflective mylar resists radiant energy.
- Conductors conduct electrical current very easily because of their free electrons.
- Insulators oppose electrical current and make poor conductors.
- Some common conductors are copper, aluminum, gold, and silver.
- Some common insulators are glass, air, plastic, rubber, and wood.
Updated: 2nd October 2019