MP-1 Measurement Platform

The MP-1 is designed to test the absolute thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat of solids, liquids, pastes and powders with the powerful combination of the transient plane source (TPS, ISO 22007-2) and transient hot-wire (THW, ASTM D7896) methods.

Best for solids, liquids, pastes, and powders
Measurement Platform with TPS and THW Instrument

The powerful combination of Transient Plane Source (TPS, ISO 22007-2) for solids, and Transient Hot Wire (THW, ASTM D7896) for liquids, gives the Thermtest MP-1 a unique and versatile selection of testing methods for almost any sample type. The TPS and THW methods are both widely used for accurate measurement of absolute thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, specific heat, and thermal effusivity. This versatility is greatly expanded with the addition of Thermtest’s proprietary Temperature Platform (TP) which is appreciated by academic and commercial users alike.

Following ISO 22007-2 and ASTM 7896-19, the TPS and THW are primary measurement methods trusted worldwide with thousands of published papers.

Features

Specifications

Methods

Transient Plane Source (TPS)

Transient Hot Wire (THW)

Materials

Solids, Pastes, and Powders

Liquids, Pastes, and Powders

Testing Modules

3D: Bulk, Anisotropic, Slab | 1D: Standard, Thin-films

General: Specific Heat

Bulk

Thermal Conductivity

0.005 to 1800 W/m•K

0.01 to 2 W/m•K

Sample Size*

5 x 5 mm to unlimited

20 mL

Sample Thickness*

0.01 mm to unlimited

N/A

Additional Properties

Thermal Diffusivity | Specific Heat |Thermal Effusivity

Thermal Diffusivity | Specific Heat

Sensor Contact Resistance

Measured

N/A

Temperature Platform (TP)

0 to 300 °C

-160 °C | -50 °C | 0 to 300 °C

10 to 200 °C | -15/0 to 200 °C

0 to 300 °C | -45 to 300 °C | -160 to 300 °C

Extended Temperature Range

-160 to 1000 °C

N/A

Test Time (seconds)

0.25 to 1280 seconds

1 second

Data-Points (points / second)

Up to 600 points / second

400 points / second

Thermal Conductivity Accuracy

5%

2%

Repeatability

1%

1%

Sample Configuration

Symmetric (Two-Sided) | Asymmetric (Single-Sided)

N/A

Standard

ISO 22007-2:2015

ASTM D7896-19

*Based on testing module used.

MP-1 Methods

The Transient Plane Source (TPS) and Transient Hot Wire (THW) share similar theory, with differences that are specific to their primary design. The basic theory is that the sensor is electrically connected to a power supply and sensing circuit. A current passes through the sensor and creates an increase in temperature, which is recorded over time. The heat generated is then diffused into the sample at a rate dependent on the thermal transport characteristics of the material.

transient plane source tps sensor

Transient Plane Source (TPS) Sensor

The TPS sensor designed for solids, pastes, and powders is comprised of a double-spiral of nickel encapsulated between layers of insulation. Standard operation of this sensor (Two-Sided) is sandwiched between two pieces of the same sample, with expanded use to single-sided sensor, which only requires one piece of sample (Single-Sided). The proprietary Thermtest TPS calculation model measures the contact resistance between sensor and sample, as well as the thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, volumetric specific heat and thermal effusivity of the sample.

Transient Hot Wire (THW) Sensor

The THW sensor designed for liquids, as well as pastes and small particle powders consists of a replaceable thin heating wire (40 mm in length) secured to specially designed sensor and sample cell which allows back pressurizing liquids to measure thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and volumetric specific heat past boiling temperatures. Measurements are done at short test times (1 second) to limit convective effects on samples with a wide range of viscosities.

Thermal Conductivity vs. Temperature

NIST Aluminum Graph
NIST Quartz Graph

As materials are unique, the reliance on reference information to predict thermal conductivity or its relationship with temperature, can lead to the use of inaccurate data. Using NIST’s “Thermal Conductivity of Selected Materials” reference for aluminum and quartz, we can see that there is a wide variance in thermal conductivity vs. temperature. Due to the dramatic variance in global material sources, it is critically important to fully characterize materials for thermophysical properties. Optional temperature capability can be added to the MP-1, allowing for full temperature characterization.

Citation: Powell, R.W., Ho, C.Y., and Liley, P.E. (1996). Thermal Conductivity of Selected Materials. Washington, U.S.: Dept. of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards; for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.. Govt. Printing Office. pp. 17, 99.

Data Acquisition Software

Designed from the ground up, the MP-1 Data Acquisition Software (DAQ) smartly controls all aspects of testing and scheduling. Testing methods and experimental parameters may be selected for automated scheduling.

A unique feature for the MP-1 is the integration of a four channel switch which is designed to allow automation of multiple devices and sensors to be controlled at the same time, greatly increasing testing capacity.

Methods and Parameters

Methods and testing modules can be selected and parameters optimized for solids, liquids, pastes, and powders.

Scheduling

Any combination of methods, devices and sensors can be scheduled to operate at a variety of conditions, such as temperature range.

Switch

Integrated into each MP-1, the four port switch enables use of a number of optional devices, temperature platforms and sensors to maximize convenience and capacity.

Analysis Software

Analysis Software
Creating a better user experience, the Analysis Software (AS) was designed to operate independent of the DAQ. A wide range of analysis operations can be conveniently accomplished. Testing data is grouped together based on method used, making corresponding calculations easy to apply.
Analysis Software

Variations in applied corrections are stored for easy comparison. In addition to summary of results, variations in applied corrections are stored for easy comparison and exporting.

TPS Contact Analysis

TPS theory states that the non-linear section of temperature rise vs time, known as contact resistance has to be removed, so the intrinsic thermophysical calculations are based on the linear region of transient. This can be done manually by iteratively removing start points till best fit is achieved. Although this is a suitable approach, it does take an experienced user to reduce errors and achieve required repeatability.

The contact resistance between the sensor and sample is dependent on the quality of the sample surface. When manually removing the contact resistance a small number of points (step 1) is removed and newly calculated for best fit analysis. If the resulting residual mean deviation can be improved, more points (step 2) can be removed and calculation steps repeated.

Raw Data

Calculation Data

TPS Contact Analysis calculation data

Residual Data

TPS Contact Analysis residual data

Alternatively, using our proprietary Contact Analysis (CA), the MP-1 is able to calculate the contact resistance (m²/KW) between sensor and sample, automatically removing the corresponding start time. In addition to better understanding the effects of surface finish on your measurements, this greatly simplifies the analysis for the intrinsic thermophysical properties. Demonstrating the application of the contact analysis measurement, four samples of stainless steel 316 with different surfaces were measured for thermophysical properties.

As the MP-1 is able to measure contact resistance, selection of the calculation window is greatly simplified, maximizing repeatability of the intrinsic properties of the sample as the surface roughness increases, the measured contact resistance also increases.

Stainless Steel 316

Surface Finishes Surface Roughness
Ra (um)
Contact Resistance
(m²K/W)
Conductivity
(W/m·K)
Diffusivity
(mm²/s)
Volumetric Specific Heat
(MJ/m³K)
Effusivity
(W√s/m²K)
Polished
0.101
Mean
1.00E-04
13.80
3.73
3.70
7149
%RSD
6
0.1
0.4
0.3
0.2
Machined
0.324
Mean
1.54E-04
13.93
3.75
3.71
7194
%RSD
1
0.1
0.3
0.2
0.1
400 grit
0.516
Mean
1.32E-04
13.84
3.74
3.71
7163
%RSD
2
0.1
0.3
0.3
0.1
80 grit
2.78
Mean
2.41E-04
13.85
3.73
3.71
7171
%RSD
1
0.02
0.2
0.2
0.1

TPS Sensors

TPS

TPS (400 °C or 800 / 1000 °C)

Standard double-spiral nickel sensor patterns can be
insulated in various insulation types for use at a wide
range of temperatures.

TPS Sensors

Sensors for testing solids, paste, and powders. Configurations of symmetric (two-sided) with one sample piece on top and bottom of sensor and asymmetric (single-sided) requiring only one piece of sample.

TPS Vertical Strip Sensors

TPS Vertical Strip Sensors

New proprietary sensor (TPS Vertical Strip) design is a near perfect circle, which better follows the ideal TPS theory. When testing with small sensor radii, this improved design reduces required corrections, while decreasing measurement uncertainty. When comparing the Corrected Radius between small diameter TPS sensors, the TPS Vertical Strip (2 mm, 1.30%) requires less correction when compared to TPS Double Spiral (2 mm, 5.75%) of the same radius. As the TPS sensor radius increases, this advantage is reduced.
Radius (mm) Corrected Radius (mm) % Difference
TPS Vertical Strip Sensor
2
2.026
1.30
3.2
3.201
0.03
6.4
6.405
0.08
TPS Double Spiral Sensor
2
2.115
5.75
3.2
3.28
2.50
6.4
6.591
2.98
9.9
10.11
2.12

TPS Modules

Thermtest offers a growing selection of testing modules which are grouped based on their testing theory.

3-Dimensional

3-Dimensional Standard

Standard

Bulk thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, specific heat and thermal effusivity

Slab

Isolated in-plane, for thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and volumetric specific heat for thin, conductive sheets
3-Dimensional Anisotropic

Anisotropic

In-plane and out-of-plane thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity

1-Dimensional

Standard 1-Dimensional

Standard

Isolated out-of-plane, for thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity for elongated shapes, rods and bars

Thin-film

Thermal resistance and thermal conductivity of free-standing films and coatings

General

Thin-film

Thermal resistance and thermal conductivity of free-standing films and coatings

THW Sensors and Cells

THW-RT Sensor (10 to 40 °C)

THW-RT Sensor (10 to 40 °C)

THW Sensor for liquids, pastes and small particle powders in composite for measurements at ambient pressure.

THW-L200 Sensor (-50 to 200 °C) up to 20 bar

THW Sensor for liquids, pastes and small particle powders is stainless steel construction with sealed liquid cell for use of back pressure to test past boiling points.
THW-L300 Sensor (-50 to 300 °C) up to 35 bar

THW-L300 Sensor (-50 to 300 °C) up to 35 bar

High-Temperature THW Sensor for liquids, pastes and small particle powders is stainless steel construction with sealed liquid cell for use of back pressure to test past boiling points.

THW-LT Sensor (-160 to 200 °C) up to 35 bar

THW-LT Sensor (-160 to 200 °C) up to 35 bar

Low-Temperature THW Sensor for liquids, pastes, and small particle powders at cryogenic conditions.

Paste and PCM Cell

Paste and PCM Cell

Special Phase Change Materials (PCM) with easy to load access. Unique spring design allows sample expansion and contraction while ensuring sample is in constant contact with THW wire during measurement.

Ambient Density Powder Cell

Ambient Density Powder Cell

The THW Ambient Density Powder Cell is suitable for basic powder sample testing at ambient pressure.

Observation Cell

Observation Cell

THW observation sample cell is used for liquids, powder, and paste testing. The cell has convenient glass ports for observing what is happening with the sample. Typical applications are phase separation, boiling or particle settling.

Variable Density Powder Cell

THW test cell with screw-type compression system for varying the density of powder samples can also be used to ensure powders stay in contact with THW wire.

THW Testing

Demonstrating the accuracy of the transient hot wire method, below are thermophysical measurements of water and ethylene glycol. Low back pressure can be applied, to allow testing past boiling points.

Water

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal Conductivity of Water

Thermal Diffusivity

Thermal Diffusivity of Water Graph

Volumetric Specific Heat

Ethylene Glycol

Thermal Conductivity

Thermal Conductivity of Ethylene Glycol

Thermal Diffusivity

Thermal Diffusivity of Ethylene Glycol

Volumetric Specific Heat

Volumetric Specific Heat of Ethylene Glycol

PCM Tests

Testing of phase change materials is possible with the use of the optional PCM cell. The unique spring design ensures the sample stays in contact with the sensing wire through phase changes. Isopropanol was measured for thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat from 20 °C to -110 °C . The sharp “anomalous” thermal conductivity rise during the phase transition is expected during the melting of the samples.

Isopropanol

Thermal Conductivity

PCM Isopropanol

Thermal Diffusivity

PCM Isopropanol

Volumetric Specific Heat

Volumetric Specific Heat

Transient Plane Source Accessories

Muffle Furnace

Muffle Furnace

Muffle Furnace

Fan Furnace

Two-Sided Sensor

Two-Sided Sensor

Two-sided sensor for accurate lab testing

Extended TPS-Sensors

Extended TPS Sensors

Compression Stand + Temperature

Compression Stand + Temperature

Tube Furnace

Tube Furnace

TPS Expanding Switch

TPS Expanding Switch

Single-Sided TPS Sensor

Single-Sided TPS Sensor

Spring-loaded sensor for testing large samples or one when only one piece of sample is available.
Testing Cells

Single-Sided TPS Sensor

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