ARDL Adds New Equipment to Expand Thermal Conductivity Capabilities

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Akron, Ohio – Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. (ARDL), a leading worldwide independent testing and development laboratory has increased its capabilities with the addition of a new C-Therm TCi™ thermal conductivity analyzer.  The modular system allows ARDL to expand on its wide range of capabilities for testing, analysis and material characterization.  The device, which uses a patented “Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS)” test method, can assist customers in studying materials’ thermal conductivity and effusivity to ASTM D7984 for R&D and quality control.

The C-Therm Technologies system and its patented sensor technology provide ARDL customers with noninvasive thermal conductivity and effusivity measurements for a number of polymer materials. Polymer samples can now include solids, liquids, powders and pastes, which are tested through direct measurement using the MTPS technique. After the application of a current to a sample, the machine monitors the increase in temperature, recording voltage to determine the thermo-physical properties, allowing the direct measurement of thermal conductivity.  Using the C-Therm TCi™, a material’s thermal conductivity can be characterized over a wide temperature range, creating a temperature dependent thermal conductivity spectrum.  Equipped with this knowledge, one can begin to study the thermal performance of a material in a thermally transient environment.  Accompanying testing such as coefficient of linear thermal expansion (CLTE) via TGA and bulk modulus via volumetric compression can be combined to study the thermal effects on a physical body constrained in its thermally dynamic environment (e.g., a seal between two mating metallic components).

Coupling the thermal conductivity spectrum with Finite Element Analysis (FEA) support test data (and derived hyperelastic material model coefficients), ARDL’s engineering group can characterize a product’s thermal-mechanical performance.  The thermal-mechanical performance of products can be observed with respect to compound batch-to-batch variability, property array from compound D.O.E., swollen state properties, immersion affected properties, heat aged properties, etc.  Industries such as oil and gas, engineered materials, automotive seals, gasket assembly, elastomeric insulators, fluid delivery systems and many more can benefit from accurate characterization of various materials in a thermally dynamic environment. 

The system provides a range of 0 – 500 W/mK with a temperature range of -50°C to 200°C with a control precision of better than 1% and a measurement accuracy better than 5% of the specimen’s thermal conductivity. Sample size considerations are also alleviated with the C-Therm TCiTM, which can accurately test samples as small as 0.67” in diameter and 0.05 mm in thickness (dependent on the conductivity of the material).  In addition, the system exports data using Microsoft® Excel which allows ARDL engineers to also record Thermal Diffusivity, Heat Capacity and Density for a more thorough Thermal Conductivity report. 

ARDL looks forward to demonstrating the multiple ways the new equipment will benefit customers who use Thermal Conductivity measurements as a tool to characterize or improve polymer materials.  The C-Therm TCiTM further expands ARDL’s problem solving capabilities as the lab continues its investment in technology and state-of-the-art equipment.

About Akron Rubber Development Laboratory, Inc. – ARDL is an ISO 9001:2008 Registered, ISO 17025 A2LA Accredited, FDA compliant, independent testing, development and problem-solving laboratory dedicated to serving all facets of the polymer industries.  ARDL finds solutions to customers’ toughest problems regarding polymers, including compound analysis and development, conducting process and production audits, creating highly advanced test systems when a standardized testing specification does not exist, designing application-specific failure analysis programs, predicting service and shelf-life and much more.

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