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Energy Transfer

Which Solid Materials are Good for Heat Insulation?

We have seen that non-metals are good insulators.
Examples of non-metals used as insulators include
wood, glass and plastics (see polymers).

How are Gases used for Heat Insulation?

Gases are particularly good insulators if you can stop them
moving. This prevents them transferring heat by convection.

Examples of trapped gases used as insulators include

1. A layer of air is trapped by our clothing to keep
us warm. The trapped air slows down the
rate of heat loss from our bodies by conduction.

2. The fur of animals also traps a layer of air
to keep them warm. When the animal
is cold, its fur stands up more to trap more air.

Materials that trap air can be used to insulate buildings.

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