Apparatus for determining thermal conductivity of insulation materials



The initial object of this investigation was to design and build an apparatus capable of screening insulation materials for use in arctic shelters. A further object was to determine its suitability for determining thermal conductivity. The apparatus comprised a steel heat sink embedded in a 6-in. core of polyurethane foam coated with glassreinforced plastic. The specimen rested upon the heat sink, and a constant temperature bath rested, in turn, on the specimen. A potentiometer was used to measure the temperature of the sink by means of a connecting thermocouple. After calibration, the apparatus was found to be highly accurate in determining thermal conductivity.