Innovation in Insulation Materials – Accelerated Thermal Conductivity Testing

Presented by Adam Harris and Arya Hakimian


Thermal Conductivity of Insulation materials

Different thermal insulation materials

Thermal insulation materials are designed to reduce or prevent the transmission of heat in the regions they are applied. Such materials are widely seen and used in applications such as packaging, building, automotive, spacecraft, clothing, and many others. Inherently, a critical performance attribute of insulation materials is their thermal conductivity. Materials possessing a low thermal conductivity have a high thermal resistivity. Thermal Resistance (R-Value) is determined by taking the thickness of a material and dividing it by its thermal conductivity.

Novel materials often incorporate specialized fillers, coatings, or manufacturing techniques to control the desired thermal outcomes. The ability to accurately quantify thermal conductivity is crucial for optimal material selection, as well as performance and claims validation. Traditionally, steady-state methods such as Heat Flow Meters (ASTM C518) have been used to test this class of material as they offer good accuracy – but are bulky and require very long test times and larger samples. By contrast, newer transient thermal conductivity techniques offer very short test times without sacrificing accuracy. C-Therm’s Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) technique enables data collection on insulation materials in seconds, as opposed to hours or days as seen with more traditional approaches.

Modified Transient Plane Source Sensor testing thermal conductivity of reference ceramic.

Using C-Therm’s MTPS method for accurate and rapid thermal conductivity measurement of an insulation material sample

This webinar heavily features the use of C-Therm’s line of transient measurement techniques for accelerated testing capabilities of insulation materials across a broad range of industries and applications. Examples of bio-based foam composites, novel aerogels, and more will be presented, with various case studies and academic highlights throughout.

trident instrument 3 methods

C-Therm’s Trident instrument with 3 different transient methods


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