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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 367962, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/367962
Research Article

A Facile Approach to Evaluate Thermal Insulation Performance of Paper Cups

State Key Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China

Received 29 September 2015; Accepted 20 October 2015

Academic Editor: Matheus Poletto

Copyright © 2015 Yudi Kuang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Paper cups are ubiquitous in daily life for serving water, soup, coffee, tea, and milk due to their convenience, biodegradability, recyclability, and sustainability. The thermal insulation performance of paper cups is of significance because they are used to supply hot food or drinks. Using an effective thermal conductivity to accurately evaluate the thermal insulation performance of paper cups is complex due to the inclusion of complicated components and a multilayer structure. Moreover, an effective thermal conductivity is unsuitable for evaluating thermal insulation performance of paper cups in the case of fluctuating temperature. In this work, we propose a facile approach to precisely analyze the thermal insulation performance of paper cups in a particular range of temperature by using an evaluation model based on the MISO (Multiple-Input Single-Output) technical theory, which includes a characterization parameter (temperature factor) and a measurement apparatus. A series of experiments was conducted according to this evaluation model, and the results show that this evaluation model enables accurate characterization of the thermal insulation performance of paper cups and provides an efficient theoretical basis for selecting paper materials for paper cups.