Thermal effusivity

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In Thermodynamics, the thermal effusivity of a material is defined as the square root of the product of the material's thermal conductivity and its volumetric heat capacity.[1]

Thermal Effusivity Sensor
Thermal effusivity sensor typically used in the direct measurement of materials.

Here, k is the thermal conductivity, is the density and is the specific heat capacity. The product of and is known as the volumetric heat capacity.

A material's thermal effusivity is a measure of its ability to exchange thermal energy with its surroundings.

If two semi-infinite bodies initially at temperatures T1 and T2 are brought in perfect thermal contact, the temperature at the contact surface Tm will be given by their relative effusivities.[2]

This expression is valid for all times for semi-infinite bodies in perfect thermal contact. It is also a good first guess for the initial contact temperature for finite bodies.

Direct measurement of thermal effusivity may be performed via specialty sensors, as pictured to the right.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ H. D. Baehr and K. Stephan, Wärme- und Stoffübertragung 4. Auflage, Springer, (2004), p 172, ISBN 3-540-40130-X

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