Trident™ Thermal Conductivity Application Highlight: Testing Aluminum Foil with TPS Slab Utility

The following Application Highlight details the use of the slab utility in testing thin foils of highly conductive metals. C-Therm’s Trident™ thermal conductivity instrument using the Transient Plane Source (TPS) test method.  

Aluminum is commonly used in electronics, medical devices and aviation applications. In some applications, it is employed as a heat spreader or heat sink material for its high thermal conductivity, relatively low density, and low cost. In other applications, it may be employed for structural support or as an electrical lead with a secondary thermal management application. Aluminum foil is commonly applied in cooking, medical devices, and in batteries to encapsulate Li-ion cells and provide structural support and a heat spreading and thermal management effect. To illustrate thermal characterization of very thin samples of aluminum, a piece of aluminum foil (Figure 1) was characterized using the TPS test method, with the Slab utility. 

Figure 1. Aluminum foil with a thickness of 0.13 mm

A sample of 99.9% pure aluminum foil with a thickness of 0.13mm was tested using the TPS Slab utility. Squares 75mm x 75mm were cut of the foil. The squares were pressed between steel weights to ensure good flatness. The sample was then sandwiched around the sensor and insulated using expanded polystyrene. Figure 2 shows the experimental setup.  

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