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Glass as an insulator?

  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1
    glass as an insulator???

    i have lately done some reading on the properties of glass and have seen threads where some say glass is an insulator and others say it isn't.

    what is the real fact about the thermal conductivity of normal glass, e.g. the wine glass or the glass beaker. are they really insulators?????
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2010 #2
    Re: glass as an insulator???

    It's a very good insulator of electricity.
    As for heat, its thermal conductivity is about 400 times less than copper, and about 30 times better than expanded polystyrene.
    (Its electrical conductivity is about 10 to the power 18 less than copper!)
  4. Feb 23, 2010 #3
    Re: glass as an insulator???

    Have a look here:

    This was already known in Maxwell's time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  5. Feb 23, 2010 #4
    Re: glass as an insulator???

    You can compare the thermal conductivity of glass here


    Generally glass conducts heat rather well; hence a single pane of glass in a window allows quite a bit of conduction heat losses...hence the use of double pane glass with an inert glass in between...which acts as an insulator.

    Heat in glass (windows) is transferred via conduction, now measured as "U" value, radiation (approximated as SHGC) and convection, measured as air infiltration...
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