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A new method for measuring the thermal conductivity of small insulating samples

Abstract : Due to the limited size of samples prepared at the lab scale, characterizing the thermal properties of new materials may be problematic, and this makes it all the more difficult to optimize them. This statement especially applies to the development of innovative thermal (super)insulators. In this work we demonstrate that the Hot Disk method, which might be preferred for such kind of studies because of the low sample size it can allow in practice, is unable to provide realistic values of thermal conductivity in the case of insulators. A new method was thus developed, called Calibrated Tiny Hot Plate (CTHP). The corresponding heat transfers were modelled, and the two unknowns of the model were obtained by calibration with insulating samples whose thermal conductivity was precisely measured with a reference (guarded hot plate) method. We show that the CTHP is able to estimate conductivities within the range 0.014-0.2 W m-1 K-1 based on samples having thicknesses ranging from 3 to 9 mm and diameters as low as 15 mm. The accuracy was generally much better than 10%, which is a remarkable result for characterizing so small insulating materials.
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Contributor : Yves Jannot <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 24, 2019 - 2:29:06 PM
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Yves Jannot, Sébastien Schaefer, Alain Degiovanni, Jérémy Bianchin, Vanessa Fierro, et al.. A new method for measuring the thermal conductivity of small insulating samples. Review of Scientific Instruments, American Institute of Physics, 2019, 90 (5), pp.054901. ⟨10.1063/1.5065562⟩. ⟨hal-02139134⟩



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