Thermal conductivity is important in material science, research, electronics, building insulation and related fields, especially where high operating temperatures are achieved. Several materials are shown in the list of thermal conductivities. These should be considered approximate due to the uncertainties related to material definitions.
High energy generation rates within electronics or turbines require the use of materials with high thermal conductivity such as copper (see: Copper in heat exchangers), aluminium, and silver. On the other hand, materials with low thermal conductance, such as polystyrene and alumina, are used in building construction or in furnaces in an effort to slow the flow of heat, i.e. for insulation purposes.