Why do metals and stone materials get colder than wood or plastics?


Just left by themselves in a colder environment, metals and ceramics and stuff get significantly colder to the touch than plastic objects or similar materials, like wood or cloth. Why?

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What you feel is how fast it takes your energy and warmth. Metal feels colder because its a better heat conductor than cloth and wood.

They get to the same temperature, but some items conduct heat more readily than others. If you took a thermometer and measured both, they would be the same if they have been left out for a good while. Metals are good conductors of heat, so when you touch cold metal, it absorbs the heat from your hand faster than if you would touch cloth. Since it’s taking the heat from your hand faster, you hand loses heat faster and it feels colder.

You can’t detect temperature, you can only detect if your skin is gaining/losing heat and how quickly

If you touch a big block of plastic its a terrible conductor of heat so your body quickly heats up a thin layer on the outside to match the temperature of your body and then very little heat moves so it feels warmer to you

If you touch a big block of metal its a good conductor of heat so when you heat up that tiny layer that heat is pulled away into the rest of the block and you keep having to heat that area up so your body detects heat is consistently flowing out and that its flowing pretty quickly so you detect that object as cold

Put a relatively thin layer of insulating plastic around that metal and suddenly it seems a lot warmer to the touch because the plastic pretty much stops the heatflow.

They only feel colder. They transmit heat particularly well, whether it’s towards or away from your hand or the environment. They’ll cool down quicker than wood/plastic, but will drop to the same temperature over time.

That same heat transfer is a hot pan will burn you almost instantly, but someone can walk over hot coals (because even though the coals are burning hot, they can’t transmit the heat very well).

Other people have explained it well already but i think this video does a great job. Its all just a matter of heat conductivity