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Author Topic: Is ice a good thermal insulator?  (Read 6067 times)

sheepman

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Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« on: 14/02/2008 19:57:41 »
If you build a small box (.5 m in diameter) and made the sides out of 2 cms thick sheets and then placed a thermometer inside, and placed it outside during the artic winter,would the ice shell keep the cold out?  Would the inside temperature still remain at 0 degree C.?
« Last Edit: 04/03/2008 23:39:29 by chris »

lightarrow

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Re: Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« Reply #1 on: 14/02/2008 20:03:42 »
If you build a small box (.5 m in diameter) and made the sides out of 2 cms thick sheets and then placed a thermometer inside, and placed it outside during the artic winter,would the ice shell keep the cold out?  Would the inside temperature still remain at 0 degree C.?

Welcome on this Forum sheepman!
No, the inside temperature wouldn't still remain at 0 degree C, but it won't go down quickly. Ice, as any other materials, have a non zero thermal conductivity, so it conduct heat anyway.
« Last Edit: 14/02/2008 20:05:40 by lightarrow »

lyner

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Re: Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« Reply #2 on: 15/02/2008 13:00:05 »
Ice, being a non-metal, has very few (none) free, conduction electrons available; thermal conduction occurs by molecules vibrating and 'passing on' the vibrations. Its thermal conductivity is in the same region as glass, and concrete but a lot higher than rubber and plastice.
It wouldn't be a particularly good insulator, in fact, but much better than a copper box! Metals are very good thermal conductors because the energy is transferred from place to place by free moving electrons.

MayoFlyFarmer

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Re: Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« Reply #3 on: 15/02/2008 20:45:44 »
actually, ice (more so snow, but technically the same thing) acts as an insulator in nature all the time.  The reason many plants can survive extremely cold winters when they go dormant is because the blanket of snow insulates them from the harsh air temperatures.  winters with little or no snow can be very taxing on plant life because instead of having to survive temps around 0-degrees C, they have are exposed to the full brunt of the air temps which drop well below zero.

paul.fr

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Re: Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« Reply #4 on: 15/02/2008 20:53:06 »
Sea ice also acts as an environmental insulator.

lyner

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Re: Is ice a good thermal insulator?
« Reply #5 on: 17/02/2008 23:03:34 »
Sea ice also acts as an environmental insulator.
The main reason it is so effective is because it is so reflective -i.e. white.

 

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