Building Materials Building Materials

Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Building Materials

Energy demands continue to rise as a result of increasing population and urbanization. Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature accounts for a significant portion of energy use worldwide, and innovative new insulative and efficient materials for building structures are at the forefront of energy conservation.

Cement and concrete play major roles in the construction industry and researchers are seeking ways of creating better materials that provide high levels of insulation without sacrificing structural strength. Thermal conductivity is critical in the development of these materials as lower thermal conductivity values correlate to better insulative systems. With the TCi, testing thermal conductivity of concrete is easy, as sample sizes do not need to be adjusted and can be tested in a matter of seconds.

  • Thermal Conductivity Testing of Aerogel Concrete

    Thermal Conductivity Testing of Aerogel Concrete

  • Thermally Insulated Concrete

    Thermally Insulated Concrete

  • PMIC Lab

    The main benefit of the TCi to our testing lab is its ease of use and short test times. It allows us to get accurate results as quickly as possible and with excellent repeatability. Our test times are only a fraction of what they are using steady state methods. Equally important, the service level has exceeded our expectations.”

    Dr. Ernest Wolff, CEO,
    PMIC Lab (Sector: Contract Lab)

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Case Highlights

Chemical Retreating for Gel-Typed Aerogel and Insulation Performance of Cement Containing Aerogel

This case highlights research into more insulative building materials by mixing aerogels with cement for better thermal performance. Aerogel is an extremely insulative material with a stated value of less than 0.03 W/mK in pure form.

Thermal conductivity results of the mixed samples tested with the TCi are shown in the graph below. Increasing weight % of aerogel content directly related to a reduction in thermal conductivity of the cured cement composite. Treating of 2.0 weight % aerogel saw a thermal conductivity decrease of over 75%.


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