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Science Experiment 2: Heat absorption depending upon brick colour

The next science experiment my children did (see previous experiment) was to test the heat absorbing quality of bricks. Paper is thin and doesn’t have a large thermal mass – but bricks are thick and heavy. Would a dark brick be different compared with a light brick.

The experiment involved little towers of half a dozen bricks with the Thermocron temperature logger in the middle. Holes in bricks were filled with foam to stop air-flow. And they were left in piles throughout the back yard.

And the answer was “yes”.

In fact, the bricks experienced the same range of temperatures as the paper.  That is, a dark brick can reach temperatures over 15° warmer than ambient, and that’s in the middle of winter.

So the consequences are huge. A dark bricked house will be much warmer than a light coloured house. A dark tiled roof will be hotter than a light tiled roof.

In my next blog, I ask the question “does it matter?”

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