C-Therm Blog

Dry vs. Saturated: Thermal Conductivity Comparison of Flour

Understanding the difference in heat transfer properties of substances depending on level of saturation is critical in a variety of applications, such as off shore drilling and ceramic molding.  In this specific testing highlight, the thermal conductivity of dry flour was compared to that of saturated and “doughy” flour.

The single-sided Modified Transient Plane Source technique was used in testing, with a Small Volume Test Kit employed to contain the powder sample.  A minimal amount (less than 1.8ml) is required, allowing for accurate testing of scarce or expensive materials.

Above: Dry flour encased in the TCi’s Small Volume Test Kit

Below: Thermal conductivity test data of dry vs. saturated flour

Table 1: Thermal conductivity test data of dry vs. saturated flour
Sample Dry   Saturated  
Test k (W/mK) RSD (N=5) K (W/mK) RSD (N=5)
1 0.108 0.0% 0.485 0.3%
2 0.113 0.2% 0.495 0.3%
3 0.107 0.1% 0.468 0.4%
Average 0.109 2.9% 0.483 2.4%


As shown in the above data, saturated flour (0.483 W/mK) has an overall increase of 4 times the thermal conductivity of its dry counterpart (0.109 W/mK).  The TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer provided repeatable and accurate results of this sample, and an 80g weight was utilized to improve contact with the sensor while controlling compression of the material. 

3 tests of 5 measurements were performed with the TCi as per the standard operating procedure to verify repeatability (strong % RSD).

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