Finite Element Analysis of Unguarded Hot-Plate Thermal Conductivity Apparatuses
By utilizing a simple thermal conductivity measuring apparatus with well-defined geometry and by having the ability to model the system in detail, accurate thermal conductivity values can be determined. We have used unguarded hot-plate systems with components of highly contrasting thermal conductivity. This arrangement provides well-defined boundary conditions for the modeling. Finite element analysis has been used as the modeling tool for two such apparatuses. This method was chosen because of its ability to easily model complex material systems. An outline of the finite element method together with a comparison with the finite difference method is given in the paper. By adjusting the thermal parameters of the model to obtain a match between the calculated and measured temperature values, the thermal conductivity of either or both samples can be determined. It has been possible with this method to show the variation in thermal conductivities of two supposedly similar samples of gneiss.
KeywordsThermal Conductivity Finite Element Analysis Finite Element Mesh Finite Difference Technique Heater Disc
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