SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1987

Historical Development of Large Heat Flow Meter Apparatus for Measurements of Thermal Resistance of Insulations


The development and utilization of various types of heat flow meter apparatus, based on the ASTM Test for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter (C 518-76) are presented and assessed in an historical context.

Among the major factors discussed are the events and rationale that established the ultimate need for the large heat meter apparatus; improvements in heat flux transducer and other component technologies; design requirements and apparatus development; calibration requirements, including the internal development of necessary transfer standards prior to the availability of National Bureau of Standards (NBS) certified samples; and the international applications and impact on test specifications.

Results utilizing the current large heat meter apparatus are presented and discussed to illustrate its effects on the stability and reproducibility of results; its accuracy and precision, as determined from interlaboratory, round-robin, and National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) studies; the extent of the thickness effect for a number of different low-density insulation materials; and the resolution of differences in value. Future needs and requirements are also addressed, specifically with regard to higher temperatures of operation.

Author Information

Tye, RP
Dynatech Scientific Inc., Cambridge, MA
Coumou, KG
Dynatech Scientific Inc., Cambridge, MA
Desjarlais, AO
Dynatech Scientific Inc., Cambridge, MA
Haines, DM
Dynatech Scientific Inc., Cambridge, MA
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Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 651–664
DOI: 10.1520/STP18510S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4998-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0493-8