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# How do I measure dielectric constant?

## How do I measure dielectric constant?

(OP)
Sorry if this is a stupid question that I should just research on my own, but I have a limited electrical engineering background so I figured one of you might be able to help me a bit more efficiently.

I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this is since my supervisor hasn't explained it, but I've been tasked with finding the dielectric constant of a thin piece of plastic (think of like a piece of saran wrap that is about the size of a piece of paper). I need to be able to find this dielectric constant in order to verify that it is lower than water (we are aiming for something between 2-4, but can possibly accept something with dielectric constant between 1-20). If measuring dielectric constant is too difficult, I just need to take some sort of measurement to verify that the impedance of this material is lower than water.

I don't even really know what some of these terms mean ... I'd appreciate whatever help anyone can offer.

### RE: How do I measure dielectric constant?

It's a classic high school physics experiment to build a flat plate capacitor using a pair of conductive electrodes of known area and the plates interleaved with various insulators and differing thicknesses of the same insulator. Google flat plate capacitor dielectric constant measurement experiment for some ideas how to do it, or buy/borrow any half-decent high school physics text book for a more step-by-step description.

### RE: How do I measure dielectric constant?

Dielectric constant of water is around 80. Most solid plastics are around 2 to 12. Note I said solid as foamed plastics like Styrofoam are mostly air and have a dielectric constant only slightly more than air.

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