Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is anyone aware of a material that emits heat very quickly

  1. Jan 15, 2016 #1
    Hi and thanks for reading.

    Is anyone aware of any material which can cool from 220°C, to a safe to touch temperature within a few seconds. I guess im looking for something with a low ability to store heat. or very good at emitting heat. Possibly metal or ceramics.

    It would be heated to about 180–220 °Celsius, ideally quickly by contact with a heat element or plate.
    id estimate a safe to touch temperature is 29° C

    In a normal indoor environment. No vacuum, no fans or specific airflow etc.

    Maybe you know of an index or database of materials and their thermal properties?

    thanks for the help

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Space shuttle tiles?
  4. Jan 15, 2016 #3


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Anything sufficiently thin or sponge-like. A large surface to volume ratio is great.
    Bad heat conductance is useful as well. The space shuttle tiles can be picked up at the edges seconds after they were glowing hot.

    Any other requirements for the material? What is its purpose?
  5. Jan 15, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I sometimes bake or warm stuff up in the oven on a sheet of aluminum foil. I have yet to pick it up with anything except bare hands.
  6. Jan 15, 2016 #5
    Aerogel would meet that need, but it's extremely fragile.
  7. Jan 19, 2016 #6
    Hi guys first off thanks for the replies, im looking into your suggestions in detail.

    To further elaborate, i want to use this material to emit heat only when a switch is on, but when off it needs to be safe to touch within seconds.

    I figure one of your suggestions can make a surface plate
    something with a high heat capacity can then be brought into contact with the plate to rapidly warm it up.
    and just as quickly uncoupling the heat source should allow the plate to rapidly cool.

    I figured there would be a "periodic table" esq index somewhere with materials heat capacity/how quickly it emits etc.
    im still searching

    Thank you gents.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook