Testing different insulators to prevent heat loss.
Problem Statement: Which insulator will trap the most heat in
the plastic bag filled with water simulating the human body?:
-A wet suit- a neoprene "slice" of a wet suit shaped
into the form of a plastic bag to surround the plastic bag
-A dry suit- "slice" of a dry suit made into the shape
surrounding the plastic bag
-A dry suit with insulators (cotton T-shirt) underneath the dry
-A cotton T-shirt made into the shape of a plastic bag to cover
the plastic bag
-Crisco inside of a plastic bag that will surround the plastic
bag with water to simulate body fat
Our hypothesis for our lab is that the dry suit with the cotton
T-shirt insulator will provide as the best insulator to prevent
heat loss from the bag. We predict that the temperatures of the
bag will decrease at a slower rate as the time increases. Our
hypothesis supports this because as the bag is exposed to the
cold water for a longer time, the change will be less as the
difference between the two temperatures lesson.
Here's a rough chart and graph of the results we predict:
Method and Materials: To complete this lab efficiently you will
need the following supplies:
¸ 6 zip-loc bags
¸ A "slice" of wetsuit big enough to form a "pocket"
around a zip-loc bag.
¸ 2 "slices" of fleece big enough to form a "pocket"
around a zip-loc bag.
¸ A cotton T-shirt that is okay to cut up.
¸ An ample supply of Crisco
¸ Temperature sensor
¸ One plastic bin.
¸ Approx. 105-degree water for the zip-loc bags.
¸ Approx. 50-degree water for the plastic bin.
¸ Pot to warm water
¸ An electric hot plate.
In our experiment we will be testing different insulators to
find the best way to prevent body heat. In advance you will want
to get the two water supplies to the proper temperatures (105
and 50.) First you will need to "construct" the separate
insulators. Make a type of pocket that a zip-loc bad will fit
into. (You can probably just fold and staple the materials.)
The materials you will need to make these "pockets' with
are the wet suit, dry suit, and the cotton T-shirt. The last
pocket you will need to make is a zip-loc bag filled with Crisco.
This bag will surround one of the plastic bags with 105-degree
water in it. The zip-loc bag with 105-degree water is simulating
the human body. Now you have to fill the bags with the water.
After the bags are filled with water place the insulators around
the four bags that are in need of insulators. You are now ready
to set up the experiment.
Place one of the temperature sensors inside the first plastic
bag, and place the second one in the pot full of 50 degrees water.
Put the first plastic bag inside of the pot with the temperature
censor inside the zip-loc. This way you will be able to track
the loss of "body" hear of the water inside of the
plastic bag. After you have finished tracking the temperature
change in the first bag, repeat the process with the other four
bags, with the other insulators listed in our problem statement.
After all 5 insulators have been tested, observe the results
and see which insulator retained the original heat the best,
therefore, preventing hypothermia.
The results of this lab were
both predicted and unexpected. If we were to rank the insulators
from the ones that worked best, to the ones that worked the least
our "list" would look like this:
> Dry Suit with the Cotton T-shirt. (End temperature: 33 degrees.)
> Dry Suit. (End temperature: 32.5 degrees.)
> Crisco. (End temperature: 32 degrees.)
> Wet Suit. (End temperature: 29.5 degrees.)
> T-shirt. (End temperature: 25 degrees.)
> Control. (End temperature: 24 degrees.)
*Click on the word results to go to
the Display of Results
In concluding, our lab has proved that the most efficient insulator
to be used when cold water diving is a dry suit, with a cotton
T-shirt insulator. Here's a graph and chart to back up our conclusion: