Thermal shock2cracks within the structure.To measure thermal shock the impulse excitation technique proved to be a useful tool. It can be used to measureYoung's modulus, Shear modulus, Poisson's ratio and damping coefficient in a non destructive way. The sametest-piece can be measured after different thermal shock cycles and this way the detoriation in physical propertiescan be mapped out.
Relative robustness of materials
The robustness of a material to thermal shock is characterized with the
thermal shock parameter
,where• is thermal conductivity,• is maximal tension the material can resist,• is the thermal expansion coefficient• is the Young's modulus, and• is the Poisson ratio.
Thermal shock parameter in the physics of solid-state lasers
The laser gain medium generates heat. This heat is drained through the heat sink. The transfer of heat occurs atcertain temperature gradient. The non-uniform thermal expansion of a bulk material causes the stress and tension,which may break the device even at slow change of the temperature. (for example, continuous-wave operation). Thisphenomenon is also called
. The robustness of a laser material to the thermal shock is characterizedwith the
thermal shock parameter
(see above)Roughly, at the efficient operation of laser, the power of heat generated in the gain medium is proportional to theoutput power of the laser, and the coefficient of proportionality can be interpreted as heat generationparameter; then, The heat generation parameter is basically determined by the quantum defect of thelaser action, and one can estimate , where and are frequency of the pump and that of thelasing.Then, for the layer of the gain medium placed at the heat sink, the maximal power can be estimated aswhere is thickness of the layer and is the transversal size. This estimate assumes the unilateral heat drain, as ittakes place in the active mirrors. For the double-side sink, the coefficient 4 should be applied.
The estimate above is not the only parameter which determines the limit of overheating of a gain medium. Themaximal raise of temperature, at which the medium still can efficiently lase, is also important property of thelaser material. This overheating limits the maximal power with estimateCombination of the two estimates above of the maximal power gives the estimatewhere