ASTM E422 - 05(2011)

    Standard Test Method for Measuring Heat Flux Using a Water-Cooled Calorimeter

    Active Standard ASTM E422 | Developed by Subcommittee: E21.08

    Book of Standards Volume: 15.03


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    Significance and Use

    The purpose of this test method is to measure the heat flux to a water-cooled surface for purposes of calibration of the thermal environment into which test specimens are placed for evaluation. If the calorimeter and holder size, shape, and surface finish are identical to that of the test specimen, the measured heat flux to the calorimeter is presumed to be the same as that to the sample's heated surface. The measured heat flux is one of the important parameters for correlating the behavior of materials.

    The water-cooled calorimeter is one of several calorimeter concepts used to measure heat flux. The prime drawback is its long response time, that is, the time required to achieve steady-state operation. To calculate energy added to the coolant water, accurate measurements of the rise in coolant temperature are needed, all energy losses should be minimized, and steady-state conditions must exist both in the thermal environment and fluid flow of the calorimeter.

    Regardless of the source of energy input to the water-cooled calorimeter surface (radiative, convective, or combinations thereof) the measurement is averaged over the surface active area of the calorimeter. If the water-cooled calorimeter is used to measure only radiative flux or combined convective-radiative heat-flux rates, then the surface reflectivity of the calorimeter shall be measured over the wavelength region of interest (depending on the source of radiant energy). If nonuniformities exist in the gas stream, a large surface area water-cooled calorimeter would tend to smooth or average any variations. Consequently, it is advisable that the size of the calorimeter be limited to relatively small surface areas and applied to where the heat-flux is uniform. Where large samples are tested it is recommended that a number of smaller diameter water-cooled calorimeters be used (rather than one large unit). These shall be located across the heated surface such that a heat-flux distribution can be described. With this, a more detailed heat-flux measurement can be applied to the specimen test and more information can be deduced from the test.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the measurement of a steady heat flux to a given water-cooled surface by means of a system energy balance.

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

    1.3 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

    E235 Specification for Thermocouples, Sheathed, Type K and Type N, for Nuclear or for Other High-Reliability Applications


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.200.10 (Heat. Calorimetry)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0422-05R11

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