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Determination of thermal conductivity for

metals, alloys and ceramics from room tempe-

rature up to 723 C and for electrically
insulating liquids and solids up to 1500 C
For research and testing
Materials: Fiber Insulation, Metal, Polymer, Rubber, Oil, Wood,
Concrete, Glass, Ceramic, Refractory, Powder, and Mold Powder.
Knowledge of thermal conductivity is of major importance for material used in
applications where thermal properties inuence functionality in the products or
in control of steps in manufacturing. Thermal conductivity is a fundamental property
for all calculations of temperature elds in materials. To answer common question
concerning temperature distribution in materials, the thermal conductivity must be known.
Why measure the thermal conductivity?
Typical questions are:
What is the temperature distribution in materials
exposed to heating or cooling?
How does this change with temperature?
How can I improve the heat transfer?
What is the best material or material combination?
How do I design a system to achieve the
There is also a scientic interest, since thermal
conductivity gives basic understanding of the underlying
mechanism and also some information of the structure
as well as indications of phase change and change of
Equipment at Swerea KIMAB
For metals and electrically insulating materials the
transient plane source method (TPS) is the best suited
method. For this reason Swerea KIMAB invested in
the commersial equipment Hot Disk in year 2005.
We upgrade the equipment to Hot Disk TPS 2500 S
system in 2008.
To analyze the thermal conductivity for electrically
insulting liquids and solids the transient hot-wire method
is usually employed. The transient hot-wire method
is highly suitable for polymers, oils, wood, concrete,
rubber, glass, ceramics, refractories and mold powder.
The method is developed and has been in operation at
Swerea KIMAB since 2002.
The Transient Plane Source method (TPS)
TPS is a method for measuring the thermal properties
of materials from room temperature up to high tempera-
tures. The method is particularly suitable for investiga-
tion of the thermal conductivity, but may also be used
for measuring the thermal diffusivity and heat capacity.
The method has originally been developed in Sweden
by Silas Gustafsson at Chalmers University of Technology.
Today the method is commercialized by the company
Hot Disk AB. The TPS method is specically developed
for metals, ceramics, polymers and other common solid
materials. It can also be used for liquids. It is possible
to measure thin insulating lms (ranging from 10 to
600 microns), sheets with high thermal conductivity or
Measuring device (Hot-wire).
anisotropic thermal properties of bulk materials. With
this method the thermal conductivity can be determined
in the temperature range of 20C to 723 C. The TPS
method is usually used with a sensor of a very thin
double metal spiral in close contact with the material
to be investigated. The sensor serves both as the heat
source device and as a resistance thermometer. When
measurements are carried out for solids, the sensor is
clamped between two surfaces of the same material,
as shown in the gure at the front page. At the time
of measurement a nearly constant electric current is
supplied to the sensor. The current heats the sensor
and thus a change in its resistance will occur. The
temperature increase depends on the current (power)
supplied and the heat conducted away through the
surrounding material (tested material). The heating of
the sensor is continued for a given time. The voltage
of the sensor is measured and since the current is held
nearly constant by a resistance bridge, the voltage
changes is proportional to the changes in the resistance
of the sensor.
The Hot-Wire method
The hot-wire method is designed and developed in
order to minimize the inuence of radiation in measu-
red values. The contribution in the measured value due
to radiation is roughly estimated to be 8 % at 1500
K, wich is about the inaccuracy of the method at this
The transient hot-wire is a dynamic, absolute method
based on the integral temperature increase over the
length of a hot-wire between two voltage taps during
a short heat pulse. Both the wire and a thermocouple
(measuring temperature in the sample) are embedded
within the sample, which form the test assembly. The
increase in temperature (resistance) of the wire as a
function of time is measured from the moment the
heating current is switched on. A theoretical expression,
describes the temperature increase of the metal wire
in terms of thermal conductivity and heat capacity per
unit volume of the substance surrounding the hot-wire.
Consequently, if the theoretical expression is tted to
the experimental temperature increase of the wire, we
can obtain both thermal conductivity and heat capacity
per unit volume.
Results from measurements of thermal conductiviy for a
high alloyed cast iron measured with the TPS-method.
Results from measurements of thermal conductiviy and heat
capacity of reference materials with the hot-wire method.
Hot-wire cell for preparation of solids a top and side view.
Industry controls our research
Swerea KIMAB provides industry-relevant
competence and equipment for company-
driven research and development.
Swerea KIMAB is an institute that focuses
on corrosion and metals research. Our
researchers help companies achieve
enhanced competitive strength and growth.
We provide trade and industry with a
deeper knowledge and improved under-
standing of materials and processes. The
range of services we offer our customers
covers everything from short assignments
to multi-year research projects. We combine
process experiments on a pilot scale,
advanced materials analysis and model-
ling/simulation in order to achieve set pro-
ject goals. Our broad network of contacts,
in Sweden and internationally, provides
inspiration to our customers.
Partnering our customers in their own R&D
work involves a great deal of trust. A high
level of integrity in our research work and
being used to working condentially are a
prerequisite for a reliable partnership.
Swerea KIMAB offers partnership to en-
sure that advanced knowledge and skills
are converted into increased competitive
strength for our customers. Located on
the KTH-Campus, we work in a creative
environment that encourages innovation.
Partnership for customer benet
Box 55970, SE-102 16 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone +46 (0)8 440 48 00,



Dr. S. Peter Andersson,
M. Sc. Carl-ke Dcker,