1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Does aluminum foil keep things cool?

  1. Oct 18, 2014 #1
    I'm aware that it helps keep warm things warm—but does it similarly help keep cool things cool?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sure. But rather than thinking in terms of keeping stuff cool or warm, think of it as reducing heat transfer.

    It reflects thermal radiation, so it acts as radiative insulation.
    Emergency first aid-type blankets are meant to prevent loses of body warmth. The heat transfer from the body to the colder environment is reduced.
    In cryogenic applications the so-called "superinsulation" is just aluminium foil wrapped around a vessel. Here, the environment is warmer than the cryogenic liquid inside the vessel, and the foil acts to reduce heat transfer inwards.
  4. Oct 18, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Aluminum foil also looks cool, especially if you wear it back-to-front.

    http://www.strictlyfitteds.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/ulysess-pizzarro-fitted-baseball-cap-hat_2.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Does aluminum foil keep things cool?
  1. Beard keeps you cool? (Replies: 11)

  2. Keeping cool in summer (Replies: 13)