Determination of thermal conductivity of powders in different atmospheres by differential scanning calorimetry

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We have developed a new method to measure the thermal conductivity of powders by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) that works with masses in amounts as low as tens of mg. The method is based on that used by Camirand to determine the thermal conductivity of materials in the form of thin sheets but introducing a hemispherical pan to contain powders in such a way that the issue of heat transfer is reduced to a one-dimensional problem. The modification of the method was successfully validated on obtaining identical results in determining the thermal conductivity of a commercial silicone with both Camirand"s method and the modified method. We have also tested our method with materials that, in bulk, cover a wide range of thermal conductivities and have performed the experiments with several atmospheres and reference metals. The results are consistent with already published general trends in that they confirm that thermal conductivity of powders is mainly governed by thermal conduction through the surrounding gas ​
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