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Thermal conductivity testing available at MERL

By Liz White, UT contributing editorHertford, UK-A new thermal conductivity testing facility available at the Hertford, UK laboratories of materials research consultancy MERL Ltd has opened up new testing opportunities for customers needing insulation analysed, for example.

The facility-a Hot Disk Thermal Constants Analyser-can analyse materials used in a wide range of industries, MERL claims. It offers a flexible method of measuring a material’s thermal transport properties-thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat.

Dr Ric Seddon, one of MERL’s research team, said, “This new capability allows us to offer to broaden our analysis services. We are currently measuring thermal properties of deepwater pipe insulation and on ceramics used in high speed brake applications. We shortly will investigate thermal properties of composite materials in fire conditions.”MERL says the method: does not require large samples; can be used on curved as well as flat specimens;

is non-destructive, unlike, alternative thermal test methods; and

samples can be tested under a range of temperature, pressure and environmental conditions.

The Hot Disk method can be used for a wide range of materials including: building materials (including highly insulating materials), materials for the electronics industry and multilayered materials.ceramics, composites, as well as elastomers, textiles, and high viscosity fluids.

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