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Effectiveness of Fabric Insulation

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Author: Maxine Levaren

When you’re going to spend some time in the great outdoors, you probably want to know how to keep warm on cold nights. So did Michael Tran, who decided to test the heat retention of five different fabrics.

The figure shows Michael’s display.

Figure: Project display for “Effectiveness of fabric insulation.”

Hypothesis

I believe that, of five samples tested, the fabric with the highest rubber content will retain the most heat.

Independent variables

Fabric types

Dependent variables

Amount of heat retained by each sample

Controls

  • Method of setting up test
  • Initial heat of each sample

Experimental groups

  • Rubber sheeting
  • Thermo suede
  • Budget blackout fabric
  • Double-layered suede
  • Polar fleece

Materials

  • Five plastic bottles wrapped in the following:
  • Rubber sheeting
  • Thermo suede
  • Budget blackout fabric
  • Double-layered suede
  • Polar fleece
  • Thermometer
  • Water
  • Heater

Procedures

  1. Tape a fabric sample to each bottle and label it.
  2. Heat water to 90@dgs C and dispense .5 liter in each bottle.
  3. Cover bottle top with a square of fabric and put thermometer through top.
  4. Record drop in temperature until it reaches 82@dgs C.
  5. Record temperature every 2 minutes for 20 minutes.
  6. Cool the water, and then repeat 50 times for each fabric type.

Results

The amount of heat retained by each fabric was as follows (listed from most to least):

  • Polar fleece
  • Double-layered suede
  • Rubber sheeting
  • Thermo suede
  • Budget blackout

Conclusions

My hypothesis was that the fabric with the highest rubber content would retain the most heat. This hypothesis was incorrect, because the rubber sheeting, which has the highest rubber content, placed third in the amount of heat retained.

The polar fleece retained the most heat, possibly because the polar fleece was the thickest fabric.

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