A Method for Thermal Diffusivity Determination of Thermal Insulators

  • Jozef GembarovicEmail author
  • Raymond E. Taylor


A so-called “three-point” (3P) method has been developed for thermal diffusivity measurements of thermal insulating materials. One side of a cylindrical specimen, sandwiched between two thin metal plates, is subjected to intense light from an incandescent lamp to generate a thermal perturbance. The temperature response is measured in three locations along the test specimen. Thermocouples are located at the front and rear faces of the specimen, and the third is placed inside the specimen at a known location. The two outside temperatures are used as boundary conditions, and the unknown thermal diffusivity is calculated from the third temperature versus time curve. The method combines the advantages of rapid transient non-contact heating methods with the well-defined boundary conditions of steady-state methods. The results of the 3P method are compared with those from steady-state methods for a micro-porous insulation material and for a honeycomb structure.


Thermal conductivity Thermal diffusivity Thermal insulation Transient method 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thermophysical Properties Research Laboratory, Inc.West LafayetteUSA

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