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Mechanical Measurements

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Venkatesan

Heat flux

Heat flux is defined as the amount of heat transferred per unit area per unit time from or

quantities viz. the amount of heat transfer per unit time and the area from/to which this

heat transfer takes place. In practice, the heat flux is measured by the change in

temperature brought about by its effect on a sensor of known area. The incident heat

flux may set up either a steady state temperature field or a transient temperature field

within the sensor. The temperature field set up may either be perpendicular to the

direction of heat flux or parallel to the direction of heat flux. We study the various types

The foil type heat flux gage (also known as the Gardon gage after its inventor)

consists of a thin circular foil of constantan stretched tightly over a cooled copper

annulus as shown in Figure 1. One surface of the foil is exposed to the heat flux that is

to be measured while the other surface may be taken as insulated. A copper wire is

attached at the geometric center of the foil as indicated in the figure. A second copper

wire is attached to the cooled copper annulus. The constantan foil forms two junctions

with copper, the first one at its center and the second one at its periphery. Under

steady state, the thermoelectric voltage across the two copper leads is a direct measure

of the temperature difference set up between the center and the periphery of the

analysis.

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

q

Constantan foil

Thermal conductivity of foil material: k,

Heat flux: q

Volt meter

Copper annulus

(cooled)

Heat balance for an annular element of the foil shown in Figure 2 is made as follows:

d ⎛ dT ⎞

Net heat conducted in to the foil element (2πkδ ) ⎜r ⎟dr

dr ⎝ dr ⎠

d ⎛ dT ⎞ q

⎜r ⎟+ r=0 (1)

dr ⎝ dr ⎠ kδ

T is finite at r = 0; T = TR at r = R (2)

dT q r 2

Integrate equation 1 once with respect to r to get r + = A , where A is a

dr kδ 2

dT q A

constant of integration. This may be rearranged to get + r = . Integrate this

dr 2kδ r

qr 2

once more with respect to r to get T + = A ln (r ) + B where B is a second constant of

4kδ

integration. The constant A has to be chosen equal to zero in order that the solution

does not diverge at. r = 0 . The constant B is obtained from the boundary condition at r =

qR 2

R as B = TR + . With this the solution for the temperature is obtained as

4kδ

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

dr r

Figure2 Energy balance over a foil element in the form of an annular ring

T = TR +

q

4kδ

(

R2 − r2 ) (3)

It may be noted that the constant B is nothing but the temperature at the center of the

T0 − TR

q= = K (T0 − TR ) = K∆ T

( )

(4)

R 2 / 4 kδ

In the above T0 is the temperature at the center of the disk and the coefficient K is the

4kδ

gage constant given by K = 2

W / m2K . The temperature difference between the

R

center of the disk and the periphery is the output that appears as a proportional voltage

relationship between the heat flux and the output of the heat flux gage.

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

Example 1

4 × 20 × 5 × 10 −5

The gage constant then works out to K = = 444.4 W / m 2 °C . This may be

0.003 2

444.44

rewritten in terms of the thermocouple output as K = = 11.1 W / m 2 µ V .

40

100

Foil radius R, mm

10

0.1

0.001 0.01 0.1 1

Foil thickness δ , mm

Figure 3 gives a plot that is useful in finding the R, combinations that will have a given

mV

sensitivity. The sensitivity (1/K) is specified in units of with both R and being

⎛ W ⎞

⎜ 2⎟

⎝ cm ⎠

in mm.

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

Under steady state we have seen that the temperature distribution in the foil is

In fact we have:

T − TR =

q

4kδ

(

R 2 − r2 ) (5)

qR 2

With T0 − TR = (6)

4kδ

(T − TR ) = ⎡1 − ⎛ r ⎞2 ⎤.

⎢ ⎜ ⎟ ⎥ (7)

(To − TR ) ⎢⎣ ⎝ R ⎠ ⎥⎦

In the steady sate the energy stored in the foil is given by

][ ]

R

[

E = ∫ ρC p δ 2πrdr T − T

R

0

[ ]

R ⎡ ⎛ r ⎞2 ⎤

E = 2ρC p δ π T − T ∫ r ⎢1 - ⎜ ⎟ ⎥ dr

o R

(8)

0 ⎢⎣ ⎝ R ⎠ ⎥⎦

R ⎡ ⎛ r ⎞2 ⎤ ⎛ R2 R2 ⎞ R2

⎜ ⎟=

But ∫ r ⎢1 - ⎜ ⎟ ⎥ dr = ⎜ −

⎟

.

⎢ ⎝ R ⎠ ⎥ 2 4 4

0 ⎣ ⎦ ⎝ ⎠

∴E =

[

2ρC p δR 2 T − T

o

] [

R = ρC δR 2 T − T ] (9)

2

p

o R

Consider now the unsteady state heat transfer in the foil. The input heat flux is partially

stored in the foil and partially removed by the coolant at the foil periphery. The stored

energy is the change in E with respect to time given by the above expression.

dE d(To − TR )

Thus, = ρC p δπR 2

dt dt

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

dT q

− 2πRkδ = (− 2R )(. − 2πRkδ ) = πR 2 q

dr r = R 4kδ

T −T( ) ( )

= πR 2 4kδ o R = π4kδ T − T

o R

R2

Thus we have

ρC p δπR 2 .

(

d T −T

o

) ( )

R + 4πδk T − T − πR 2q = 0.

dt o R

Or

(

d To − TR

+

) (

4k To − TR

−

2q )

=0

(10)

dt ρCp R 2 ρC pf

first order system behaviour

ρC p .R 2 R2

τ= = (11)

4k 4α

Where α is the thermal diffusivity of the foil material.

Figure 4 shows the relationship (11) between the foil radius and the first order

time constant of the sensor in graphical form. This figure may be used in tandem with

Figure 3 for determining the proportions and the time constant for the chosen

dimensions of the gage. Figure 5 shows the actual view of a commercially available

heat flux gage which has arrangement for cooling of the cylinder by water. The figure

also gives the typical ranges of gage available and their characteristics, the sensitivity

and time constant. The illustration has been taken from the manufacturer’s web site

indicated therein.

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

100

Foil radius R, mm

10

0.1

0.0001 0.001 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 1000

Time constant τ, s

cooled foil gage

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

Thermal barrier

of known k:

q Thickness = 0.25 mm,

k = 0.2 W/m ْ°C

Kapton® (polyimide)

∆T

40 junctions (thin foil thermocouple) surface over which

Maximum temperature is limited to 200ْC heat flux is incident.

for this material.

The operation of a thin film heat flux sensor, shown schematically in Figure 6, is

very simple. A thin barrier of known thermal conductivity is attached to a surface that is

receiving the heat flux to be measured. The barrier imposes a thermal resistance

parallel to the direction of the heat flux and the heat conduction in the barrier is one-

thermopile arrangement wherein several hot and cold junctions are connected in

opposition. The output is proportional to the heat flux. Example 2 below brings out the

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

Example 2

The geometrical description of a thin film heat flux sensor is given in Figure 5.

The thermal conductivity of the barrier material is also given therein. Output of the gage

is known to be V = 0.1 V (100 mV) at the maximum rated heat flux. Determine the

Since there are 40 junctions, the total output corresponds to 0.1 / 40 = 0.0025 V

difference of

0.0025

∆T = = 62.5°C

40 ×10 − 6

q=k

∆T

=

(0.2)(62.5) W = 50000 W

δ ( )

0.25 × 10− 3 m 2 m2

Typically the solar heat flux is 1000 W / m2. The above heat flux is some 50 times

larger!

∆T

Cooled surface

Base material

All thin wafers

~ 3 mm φ

(Up to 5000 W / cm2)

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

The operational principle of the thin wafer type cooled heat flux gage is the same

as the thin film gage above. Temperature drop across the constantan wafer is

two T type junctions formed by the constantan wafer sandwiched between the two

copper wafers

This probe (see Figure 8) is based on conduction through the probe in a direction

parallel to the heat flux that is being measured. The gage consists of a cylinder of

known thermal conductivity with an annular guard. The guard consists of outer annular

cylinder made of the same material as that of the gage. It is exposed to the same heat

flux and cooled at the back by the same coolant that is also used to cool the probe itself.

Since the outer annulus experiences roughly the same axial temperature gradient as

the probe, one dimensional conduction is achieved in the probe. The temperatures are

used to derive the heat flux from the measured temperature difference, the distance

between the thermocouples and the known thermal conductivity of the probe material.

Thermocouple Coolant

leads out

Guard

q Coolant

in

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

Example 3

Consider an axial conductivity guarded heat flux probe made of an alloy material

apart. The incident heat flux is known to be 105 W/m2. The probe has a diameter of 25

mm. Determine the indicated temperature difference ∆T and the heat Q that needs to

W ∆T

q = 100000 2

=k ( by Fourier law )

m s

100000 × 0.01

∴ ∆T = = 22 .2°C

45

0.025 2

Heat to be removed = Q = qA = 100000 × π × = 49.1W

4

material of specific heat c is embedded in the substrate as shown. Frontal area A of the

slug is exposed to the heat flux to be measured while all the other surfaces of the slug

are thermally insulated as indicated. When the incident flux is absorbed at the surface

of the slug, it heats the slug, and uniformly so if it is made of a material of high thermal

conductivity.

q

Area=A

Slug M, c

Substrate

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

In the ideal case with no heat loss the equation for the temperature of the slug is given

by

dT

Mc = qA (12)

dr

On integration this will yield the slug temperature as a linear function of time given by

qA

T = T0 + t (13)

Mc

exposure of the slug to the incident heat flux when the slug temperature reaches its

Consider now the case when there is a small heat leak from the slug sensor. Let

the loss be proportional to the temperature excess of the slug with respect to the casing

or the substrate. The loss coefficient is given as KL W/°C. Equation (12) will now be

replaced by

dT

Mc = qA - K L (T − Tc ) (14)

dr

KL

Let T − Tc = θ and =∈ . With these equation (14) will be recast as

Mc

dθ qA

− = −∈θ (15)

dt Mc

Since KL is expected to be small, the parameter ∈ is small. The solution may be sought

by expanding it in the form θ = θ (1) + ∈ θ (2) + ...... . Substituting this in equation (15) we

have

[ ]

(1) (2)

dθ qA dθ

− +∈ + ..... = − ∈ θ (1) + ∈2 θ (2) + ...... (16)

dt Mc dt

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

(1)

dθ qA

= (17a)

dt Mc

(2)

dθ qA (1)

=− θ (17b)

dt Mc

2

qAt (2) qAt

θ (1) = ; θ =− (17c)

Mc 2Mc

Thus the response of the slug follows the relation

qAt qA 2 qA ⎡ K L t 2 ⎤

θ≈ −∈ .t = ⎢t - . ....⎥ (18)

Mc 2Mc Mc ⎣ Mc 2 ⎦

Example 4

A slug type of sensor is made of a copper slug of 3 mm thickness. The

specification is that the temperature of the slug should not increase by more than 40°C.

a) What is the time for which the slug can be exposed to an incident heat flux of 10000

b) What is the time for which the slug can be exposed to an incident heat flux of 10000

W/m2 and there is small heat loss from the slug specified by a loss coefficient of 50

W/°C?

Note: We make all calculations based on unit area of slug exposed to the

incident heat flux. Properties of Copper are taken from hand book

a) If there is negligible heat loss the temperature increases linearly and the

3 × 10 −3 × 8890 × 398 × 40

t max = = 42.46 s

10000

Mechanical Measurements Prof. S.P.Venkatesan

b) When the heat loss is taken into account, what happens is worked out

KL 50

below.We have, from the given data = = 0.00047

Mc 8890 × 3 × 10 −3 × 398

qA q 10000

and = = = 0.942 . With these, we get, using equation

Mc ρδc 8890 × 3 ×10 −3 × 398

⎡ t2 ⎤

xx θ ≈ 0.942 ⎢ t − 0.00047 ⎥ .

⎣ 2⎦

∆Tmax

or t max = . This gives the maximum exposure time

0.942[1 − 0.000235t max ]

40

approximately as t max ≈ = 47.2s

0.942[1 − 0.000235 × 42.46]

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