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A new procedure was developed to increase the accuracy of hot box testing of walls containing strong thermal bridges. Since steel is about one thousand times more conductive than wood, steel-framed walls are very good examples of structures containing strong thermal bridges. The traditional analysis method of hot-box test data (as described in the ASTM C1363 standard) is relatively accurate for hot box testing of conventional wood-famed walls. However, this methodology is significantly less accurate for heavily thermally bridged steel-framed walls. In the proposed new method, three sources of inaccuracies were identified for steel stud assemblies: •zone of influence for the thermally bridged areas, •distribution of surface temperatures for locations of strong thermal bridges, and •thermal conductivity of foam used in the surround panel.
All three factors are important in that they may reduce the accuracy of the hot box testing on thermally bridged walls
steel framing, heat transfer, hot-box tests, wall R-value
Research Engineer, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN
Research Support Staff Member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN