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Finite element modeling of the Hot Disc method

Journal article
Authors B.M. Mihiretie
Daniel Cederkrantz
Arne Rosén
Henrik Otterberg
Maria Sundin
Silas Gustafsson
Magnus Karlsteen
Published in International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume 115
Pages 216-223
ISSN 0017-9310
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 216-223
Language en
Keywords Hot Disc method; Thermal conductivity measurement; Finite element simulation; Joule heating; Transient temperature; Hot Disc sensor; Multiphysics modeling
Subject categories Materials Engineering, Other Physics Topics


The Hot Disc method, also known as the transient plane source (TPS) technique, is an experimental approach to determine the thermal transport properties of materials. The core of the method is the Hot Disc sensor, an electrically conducting metallic strip, shaped as a double spiral clad with a protective polymer film. The mean temperature increase in the sensor has been approximated from various analytical approaches such as: the concentric ring sources model, the thermal quadrupoles formalism, and concentric circular strips structure approach. However, full numerical simulation of the sensor has not been addressed so far. Here we develop a 3D model of Hot Disc sensors and compare simulated mean temperature increase to experimental recordings. Joule heating coupled with heat transfer of solids (of COMSOL Multiphysics software) is used to simulate the working principle of the sensor. The volume mean temperature increase in the sensor from the simulations proves to be in a good agreement with the corresponding experimental recordings. The temperature distributions of the metallic strip are also evaluated and discussed with respect to the previous experimental findings. Furthermore, the current distribution across the strip is obtained. Such simulation can potentially be used in further optimizing geometry and parameter estimation

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