Development of Experimental Setup for Measuring Thermal Conductivity Characteristics of Soil
Thermal conductivity displays a key role in design of engineering structures where, thermal stresses resulting from heat and temperatures are of concern. Significant efforts were made to measure the thermal conductivity of different materials. For thermal conductivity characterization of soil samples it is essential to have very flexible set-up. Hence, this paper provides details about indigenously developed experimental setup for thermal conductivity measurement. The design of this newly developed setup is based on the basic principle of steady state heat flow. This experimental setup is designed in order to measure the thermal conductivity of various materials such as soils, rocks, concrete and any type of unbonded and bonded materials. In this paper, initially the theoretical background of the measurement techniques and the principle of heat flow are described, followed by design description and working procedure. The design has been kept very simple, adjustable for varying type and size of specimens and easy to operate with excellent level of accuracy as evident from system calibration. The accuracy and precision of the newly developed setup was verified by testing reference materials of known thermal conductivity and in the test results a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.999) between experimental data and fitting curve was achieved.