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World-leading expertise in thermal property measurements

NPL has a unique range of instruments to help industry to understand the thermophysical properties of their materials, their behaviour during processing and use and provide reliable data for process modelling. Our current areas of research include: 

  • Provision of reliable thermophysical property measurements for thin complex materials to enable the design, selection, optimisation, processing, proven performance and uptake of new emerging materials in the whole advanced manufacturing supply chain
  • Development of an improved low temperature heat transfer measurement method based on thermal flash methods to be applied to multi-layered material systems. Validation of halogen bulb and laser flash systems with reference materials
  • Development of methodology for evaluating thermal interface resistance in multi-layered systems, based on laser flash technique
  • Development of an axial heat transfer meter with axial loading, which will enable measurements of small volumes of material and study variation in thermal contact of the surface
  • Development and validation of a national standard small guarded hot plate with vacuum or gas protection environments, which will enable measurements of thermal interfaces at reduced air environment – providing reliable thermal performance data for the material applications in electrification of planes
  • A feasibility study is being conducted to evaluate the use of Raman peak shift in the measurement of thermal conductivity over small distances for thermal management of electronic components for instance

There is an on-going programme of validation between different instruments using reference materials and data. Where the same properties can be obtained by different methods it is important to know where these are comparable and where they are not. In some cases we have to select materials with the right property or temperature ranges to suit the instrument requirement, and in others there are suitable reference materials available. Methods which are currently being reviewed are:

  • Thermal expansion
  • Differential scanning calorimetry
  • Thermal diffusivity
  • Thermal conductivity and thermal (contact) resistance

Find out more about NPL's Thermal performance services

Contact us

Lead researcher

Jiyu Wu

Principal Research Scientist

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