As our balloon carries the package above the clouds, the temperature will change quite a bit. As you go up into the sky the air gets colder and our package will likely experience temperatures as cold as -50F! That is much colder than the temperature on the ground where even on the coldest day of winter we only get to close to -10F.
We need to make sure our package will have enough heat inside so the equipment will keep working when it gets really cold outside.
We will be using a Styrofoam box created right here in WNY by the design engineers at Armstrong Brands in West Seneca. We chose Styrofoam for its light weight, ease of shaping and insulation. We will be adding some air activated hand warmers to provide some protection against the extreme cold.
Our student scientists found the base line temperature (coldest temperature reached under subfreezing conditions) to be at acceptable levels once multiple hand warmers are applied in close proximity to the equipment.
You can download a printable copy of this experiment by clicking on a the link(s) on the right hand section of this page.
Some cool Styrofoam facts:
& Healthy Throughout Its Life Cycle
• Made of 98% air, EPS is an inert material without
harmful chemicals that off-gas or leach during its use or disposal.
• EPS is widely recognized as a safe
choice for use in food contact packaging by government regulatory agencies
throughout the world.
Meets Performance & Cost Market Criteria
• Because of its versatility EPS offers significant
savings in design and development, product assembly and distribution costs.
• With customized packaging designs
EPS delivers exactly the right amount of product protection. Its high tensile
strength and cellular structure give this lightweight product exceptional
Maximizes Renewable or Recycled Source Materials
• Recycled EPS is
used in both closed-loop and open-loop processes to make a variety of
applications from recycled-content foam packaging to durable goods and
innovative new building products.
• In 2006 more than 52% of all EPS
collected for recycling was used to make recycled-content packaging.
Uses Clean Production Technologies & Best Practices
• Innovations in
manufacturing technologies ensure EPS production minimizes energy
consumption with mold cavities that cool quickly and manufacturing processes
that recycle water and recapture air emissions.
EPS manufacturers are ISO certified.
Physically Designed to Optimize Energy & Materials
• EPS feedstock
is converted into a finished product 32 times its original volume-virtually
turning air into a strong and efficient packaging material.
• If all EPS
packaging were replaced with corrugated cardboard, paper, wood, molded fiber
etc., compared with current figures raw material requirements would rise to
560%, power consumption to 215% and the landfill volume to 150%.