ASTM E1461 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Thermal Diffusivity by the Flash Method

    Active Standard ASTM E1461 | Developed by Subcommittee: E37.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 14.02


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Thermal diffusivity is an important transient thermal property, required for such purposes such as design applications, determination of safe operating temperature, process control, and quality assurance.

    5.2 The flash method is used to measure values of thermal diffusivity, α, of a wide range of solid materials. It is particularly advantageous because of simple specimen geometry, small specimen size requirements, rapidity of measurement and ease of handling.

    5.3 Under certain strict conditions, specific heat capacity of a homogeneous isotropic opaque solid specimen can be determined when the method is used in a quantitative fashion (see Appendix X2).

    5.4 Thermal diffusivity results, together with related values of specific heat capacity (Cp) and density (ρ) values, can be used in many cases to derive thermal conductivity (λ), according to the relationship:

    Equation E1461-13_1

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the thermal diffusivity of primarily homogeneous isotropic solid materials. Thermal diffusivity values ranging from 0.1 to 1000 (mm)2 s-1 are measurable by this test method from about 75 to 2800 K.

    1.2 Practice E2585 is adjunct to this test method and contains detailed information regarding the use of the flash method. The two documents are complementing each other.

    1.3 This test method is a more detailed form of Test Method C714, having applicability to much wider ranges of materials, applications, and temperatures, with improved accuracy of measurements.

    1.4 This test method is intended to allow a wide variety of apparatus designs. It is not practical in a test method of this type to establish details of construction and procedures to cover all contingencies that might offer difficulties to a person without pertinent technical knowledge, or to restrict research and development for improvements in the basic technique.

    1.5 This test method is applicable to the measurements performed on essentially fully dense (preferably, but low porosity would be acceptable), homogeneous, and isotropic solid materials that are opaque to the applied energy pulse. Experience shows that some deviation from these strict guidelines can be accommodated with care and proper experimental design, substantially broadening the usefulness of the method.

    1.6 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.7 For systems employing lasers as power sources, it is imperative that the safety requirement be fully met.

    1.8 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C714 Test Method for Thermal Diffusivity of Carbon and Graphite by Thermal Pulse Method

    E228 Test Method for Linear Thermal Expansion of Solid Materials With a Push-Rod Dilatometer

    E2585 Practice for Thermal Diffusivity by the Flash Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.200.10 (Heat. Calorimetry)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/E1461

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM E1461-13, Standard Test Method for Thermal Diffusivity by the Flash Method, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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