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# Experiment 10: Determination of Heat Conduction

Objective

## 1) Find thermal conductivity, k of brass and stainless steel

2) Find the overall heat transfer coefficient

Introduction

The experiment if a study of heat flow across a temperature gradient. By comparing the temperature
difference across one material to the temperature difference across a second material of known
thermal conductivity, when both are conducting heat at a steady rate the thermal conductivity of
the first material will be able to calculate. Thermal conductivity is an important concept in the earth
sciences, with applications including estimating of cooling rates of magma chambers, geothermal
explorations, and estimates of the age of the Earth. It is also important regarding heat transport in
air, to understanding the properties of insulating material (including the walls and windows of your
house), and in many other areas. The objective of this laboratory experiment is to apply the
concepts of heat flow to measure the thermal conductivity of various materials. Thermal conduction
is the transfer of heat energy in a material due to the temperature gradient within it. It always takes
place from a region of higher temperature to a region of lower temperature. A solid is chosen for the
experiment of pure conduction because both liquids and gasses exhibit excessive convective heat
transfer. For practical situation, heat conduction occurs in three dimensions, a complexity which
often requires extensive computation to analyze. For experiment, a single dimensional approach is
required to demonstrate the basic law that relates rate of heat flow to temperature gradient and
area.

Apparatus

1) Thermal paste
2) 25mm brass core
3) 13mm brass core
4) 25mm stainless steel core
5) Heat conducting apparatus
6) Stopwatch

## Figure 1: Top view of the calibration and test units

Procedure

1. A core with brass center with diameter of 25mm is attach to the heat conductor machine
along with the thermocouples.
2. The main power for the heat conductor apparatus is switched on.
3. Water is kept running at one end the heat conducting apparatus.
4. The heater power is adjusted to 10W.
5. The stopwatch is started and stop when it reached 10 minutes.
6. The temperature of T1 until T9 is recorded.
7. Step 1 to 6 is repeated using 15W and 20 W for the power of the heater.
8. Step 1 to 7 is repeated using different core of stainless steel with 25mm diameter and brass
with 13mm in diameter.

Results

Specimen Wattmeter T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9
(W)
Brass 10 48.5 47.7 46 41.9 40.1 38.3 35.3 33.9 32.6
25mm 15 50.8 50.3 48.5 44 42 40.7 36.5 35.1 33.7
20 57.1 56.5 54 47.5 45 43.2 38.2 36.3 34.4
Stainless 10 63.3 64.6 63.8 56 48.2 40.4 32.6 31.9 31.4
steel 15 66.8 68.7 67.7 59.05 50.4 41.75 33.1 32.3 31.5
25mm 20 70 71.9 70.8 61.6 52.4 43.2 34 32.7 31.8
Brass 10 61.6 62.8 62.1 54.7 47.3 39.9 32.5 31.9 31.3
13mm 15 66.2 67.5 66.3 58.25 50.2 42.15 34.1 33.1 32.1
20 74.8 76.6 74.9 65.025 55.15 45.275 35.4 34.2 32.9

Calculation

## 𝑄 𝑇𝐻𝑆 − 𝑇𝐻𝐼 𝑇𝐻𝐼 − 𝑇𝐶𝐼 𝑇𝐶𝐼 − 𝑇𝐶𝑆

= 𝑘𝐻 = 𝑘𝑆 = 𝑘𝐶
𝐴 𝑋𝐻 𝑋𝑆 𝑋𝐶

1 𝑋𝐻 𝑋𝑆 𝑋𝐶
= + +
𝑈 𝑘𝐻 𝑘𝑆 𝑘𝐶
𝑄
= 𝑈(𝑇𝐻𝑆 − 𝑇𝐶𝑆 )
𝐴

𝜋(25𝑥10−3 )
𝐴𝑟𝑒𝑎 = = 490.87𝑚𝑚2
4
Brass (D=25mm)

a) Calculation for k

Q=10watt
10 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 = 490.87𝑥10−6 43.9−36.8
= 86.08W/mk

Q=15watt
15 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 = −6 = 119.83W/mk
490.87𝑥10 46.25−38.6

Q=20watt
20 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 = = 121.62W/mk
490.87𝑥10−6 50.75−40.7

## Stainless steel (D=25mm)

Q=10watt

10 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
490.87𝑥10−6 59.9 − 36.5
= 26.11W/mk

Q=15watt

15 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
490.87𝑥10−6 63.375 − 37.425
= 35.33W/mk

Q=20watt

20 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
490.87𝑥10−6 66.2 − 38.6
= 44.29
Brass (D=13mm)

𝜋(13𝑥10−3 )2
𝐴𝑟𝑒𝑎 = = 132.73𝑚𝑚2
4
Q=10 watt

10 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
132.73𝑥10−6 58.4 − 36.2
= 101.81 W/mk

Q=15watt

15 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
132.73𝑥10−6 62.275 − 38.125
= 140.37 W/mk

Q=20watt

20 30𝑥10−3
𝑘𝑆 =
132.73𝑥10−6 69.96 − 38.838
= 145.25 W/mk

b) Calculation for U

Brass (D=25mm)
𝑄
𝑈=
𝐴(𝑇𝐻𝑆 − 𝑇𝐶𝑆 )
Q=10W,
10
𝑈=
490.87𝑒 − 6(48.5 − 32.6)
1281.26𝑊/𝑚2 𝐾
1
= 7.8𝑒 − 4
𝑈
U , 𝑾/𝒎𝟐 𝑲 1/U , 𝒎𝟐 𝑲/𝑾
10 15 20 10 15 20
brass (D=25mm) 1281.25 1787.7 1794.89 0.00078 0.000559 0.000557
stainless steel 638.6 865.67 1066.6 0.001566 0.001155 0.000938
(D=25mm)
brass (D=13mm) 672.3 896.1 972.4 0.001487 0.001116 0.001028
Analysis

## a) Graph of thermocouple reading at different power input

Brass (D=25mm)
60

50

40

30

20

10

0
t1 t2 t3 t4 t5 t6 t7 t8 t9

10 15 20

## Stainless Steel (D=25mm)

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 15 20
Brass (D=13mm)
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10 15 20

2000
1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
10 15 20

## brass (D=25mm) stainless steel (D=25mm) brass (D=13mm)

Graph of 1/U Against Power Input
0.0018
0.0016
0.0014
0.0012
0.001
0.0008
0.0006
0.0004
0.0002
0
10 15 20

## brass (D=25mm) stainless steel (D=25mm) brass (D=13mm)

Discussion

1. When calculating the heat transfer coefficient using the thermal geometry equation, the
average thermal conductivity, k obtained is for the Brass (D=25mm) is 109W/mK , the stainless
steel is 35W/mK and brass (D=13mm) is 129W/mk.

2. Thermal conductivity is constant. However, for the experiment, the thermal conductivity
calculated is not constant. This is due to factors that contributed to the deviation:
i. The thermal paste is not reapplied after each specimen which may induce micro void that
will make the surface of the specimen not flat thus not fully in contact to the apparatus. The
gaps will be filled with air which has a lower thermal conductivity compared to the thermal
paste.
ii. Absence of thermocouple for the stainless steel (D=25mm) and brass (D=13mm) specimen.
The inaccuracy of the temperature reading will occur due to the reading limited to only
thermocouple T1 to T3 and thermocouple T7 to T9.
3. Based on the graph of U and 1/U, it can be seen that as the power input increases, the overall
heat transfer coefficient, U increases while the overall resistance to heat flow decreases.

Conclusion

The average thermal conductivity, k obtained is for the Brass (D=25mm) is 109W/mK , the stainless
steel is 35W/mK and brass (D=13mm) is 129W/mk.

Varying the input power will affect the heat transfer coefficient. When the input power, Q(watt)
increases, the overall heat transfer coefficient, U (W/m2K) will increase. There
will be difference between U calculated from the experiment and U calculated theoretically because
of the difference in variables (input power, area, temperature, distance and thermal conductivity)
used.
References

i. Incropera, F. P., De Witt, D.P., Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, John Wiley & Sons,
Singapore, 1990.
ii. McCabe, W. L., Smith, J.C., Harriot, P., Unit Operations of Chemical Engineering, McGraw-
Hill, Singapore, 1985,
iii. Laboratory Manual EML 331/2, Engineering Laboratory II, 2018-2019, Universiti Sains
Malaysia.