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R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab.

(2015)

ChE 135
Process Engineering Laboratory

Thermal Diffusivity Determination of Polyester Resin and Steel


Renz Marvin Asprec, Patrick Cruz*, Raphael Victor Mendoza
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
*Corresponding author. Tel.:

Email address:

ABSTRACT
A steel cube and polyester resin cube were immersed in a water bath of 40.0, 60.4, and 80.0C and in an ice bath of
4.0C. The variation of the cube cores temperature with time were measured and recorded. For the steel cube, with a
Biot number of 0.1, a lumped analysis was used to calculate for the thermal diffusivity. Getting the slope from the plot
-5
-5
-5
-5
2
of
vs
, resulted to a thermal diffusivity of 2.66x10 , 2.59x10 , 3.66x10 , and 2.76x10 m /s for the
-5

temperature of 40.0, 60.4, 80.0 and 4.0C, respectively. With a literature value of 1.88x10 m /s, the percent deviation
resulted to 41.5, 37.7, 94.7, and 46.8%, respectively. For the resin cube, with a Biot number of 309, a three-dimensional
conduction analysis was used. Getting the slope from the plot of

) vs (

),

resulted to a thermal diffusivity of 3.25x10-7, 2.33x10-7, 2.91x10-7, and 1.82x10-7 m2/s. The percent deviation
from the literature value of 1.06x10-7 m2/s is 206.6, 119.8, 174.5, and 71.7%.
Keywords: Thermal diffusivity, lumped analysis, heat transfer

1. Introduction
Heat transfer occurs between two objects of
different temperatures. There are three mechanisms
on which this may occur. These are via conduction,
convection or radiation. In conduction, heat is
conducted either by transfer of energy between free
electrons (the mechanism for metallic solids) or by
transfer of energy of motion between adjacent
molecules. In convection, the transfer of heat occurs
due to bulk motion and mixing of the hotter regions
with the cooler regions of the fluid. Finally,
radiation
transfers
heat
by
means
of
electromagnetic waves (Geankoplis, 1993).
There are several parameters that defines the
thermal property of a material, like thermal
conductivity and thermal diffusivity. Thermal
conductivity determines the amount of heat that
will flow in the material while thermal diffusivity
determines the rate at which the heat will flow
(Geankoplis, 1993). The property of interest for the
experiment is the thermal diffusivity of steel and
resin cubes.
Convective heat transfer between a fluid and a solid
surface is given by Newtons Law of Cooling;
(1)
(
)

where is the convective heat-transfer coefficient,


is the area of the surface,
is the temperature
of the surface of the solid, and
is the
temperature of the bulk fluid.
The convective heat-transfer coefficient is a function
of the system geometry, fluid properties, flow
velocity, and temperature difference.
For materials with small internal resistances such as
metals, the conductivity is high such that the
temperature within the material is uniform at any
given time. Making a heat balance for the system of
a metal cube immersed in a water bath
(
)
(1)
where A is the area of the cube, T is the average
temperature of the cube at a specific time, the
density of the cube, and V the volume of the cube.
Integrating equation (1)
conditions that at time
time
,

with
,

the

boundary
and that at

(2.1)

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

where cpV is called


capacitance of the system.

the

lumped

thermal
(

Equation (2) can be rearranged to

(2.2)
Plotting

vs

(4)
(

, the slope will be the thermal


(

) vs (

), the

diffusivity.

Plotting

For systems wherein the lumped system analysis is


not valid, dimensionless variables must be used. The
boundary conditions are for
, for

slope will be the thermal diffusivity .

, and for

).

In the experiment, the diffusivity of the steel cube


will be determined by plotting
vs
for the
steel cube, and

The system is to be analysed using threedimensional conduction analysis (Perry, 2008). The
equation to be used is
(

)(
(

Where

)
(

(
)

)(

(
(

)) (

Rearranging,

)(

Taking the ln of both sides

) vs (

) for the polyester resin, and getting the slope of


the best fit line.
2. Materials and Methodology
First, the initial temperatures of the steel and
polyester resin cubes are noted. Then, each cube is
submerged in a constant temperature bath with
water of temperature 40C. The temperature
readings, which are taken from the center of the
cubes, are noted every 10 seconds until the constant
temperature bath or a constant temperature is
reached. This procedure is repeated with water
temperatures of 60, and 80C. For the 80C system,
the cube is then submerged into an ice bath to
observe its cooling behavior.

)
)

))
(

))

Fig. 1. Cube submerged in a constant temperature bath

It is preferred to measure the temperatures from the


center of the cubes for simplification of equations
that will be used.

(3)

))

3. Results and Discussion


With the thermal conductivity of steel, k, equal to
43 W/mK (New Age Publishers, n.d.) and heat

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

transfer coefficient of water, h, equal to


660.361W/m2K (Geankoplis, 1993), the Biot number
for the heating and cooling of the steel cube is equal
to 0.1.

thermal conductivity or
resistance (Geankoplis, 1993).

negligible

thermal

Doing a lumped analysis for the steel cube, by using


the slope of
vs
, results to the calculated

When the Biot number is less than 0.2 (Perry, 2008),


a lumped analysis is acceptable. Lumping of a
system is valid for materials that have very high

thermal diffusivities shown on Table 1. Also shown


on Table 1 is the percent deviation of the thermal
diffusivity from the theoretical value of 1.88 x10-5
m2/s (Welty, 2008).

ln((T-T)/(T0-T)) vs -hAt/kV
0.5
0
-150

-130

-110

-90

-70

-50

-30

-10

-0.5

ln((T-T)/(T0-T))

-1
-1.5
-2
-2.5
-3
-3.5
-4
-4.5
y = 2.66E-02x + 2.86E-01
R = 9.57E-01

-hAt/kV x10-3
40 C
Fig 2.1. Plot of

vs

Linear (40 C)

for heating with water of temperature 40C

ln((T-T)/(T0-T)) vs -hAt/kV
0.5

-105

-85

-65

-45

-25

ln((T-T)/(T0-T))

-125

0
-5
-0.5
-1
-1.5
-2
-2.5
-3

-hAt/kV x10-3
60.4 C
Fig 2.2. Plot of

vs

-3.5
y = 2.59E-02x + 2.13E-01
R = 9.75E-01

Linear (60.4 C)

for heating with water of temperature 60.4C

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

ln((T-T)/(T0-T)) vs -hAt/kV
1

-125

-105

-85

-65

-45

0
-5

-25

ln((T-T)/(T0-T))

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5
y = 3.66E-02x + 4.44E-01
R = 9.15E-01

-hAt/kV x10-3
80 C

Fig 2.3. Plot of

vs

Linear (80 C)

for heating with water of temperature 80C

ln((T-T)/(T0-T)) vs -hAt/kV
0
-180

-160

-140

-120

-100

-80

-60

-40

-20

ln((T-T)/(T0-T))

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5

-hAt/kV x10-3
cooling

Fig 2.4. Plot of

Linear (cooling)

vs

Thermal
diffusivity (m2/s)

y = 2.76E-02x - 1.00E+00
R = 9.72E-01

for cooling from an initial temp of 82.8C

Table 1. Thermal diffusivity and percent deviation for the


heating and cooling of steel cube

Water bath
temperature
(C)

-6

Percent
Deviation (%)

40
60.4
80
4.0 (cooling)

2.66x10-5
2.59x10-5
3.66x10-5
2.76x10-5

41.49
37.7
94.68
46.81

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

For the heating and cooling of the polyester resin


cube, the lumped analysis is not valid because the
Biot number is greater than 0.2. Using a thermal
plots

of

vs

obtained

for

the

steel

cube

ln(/t)vs -(2t/R2)x,y,z
0
-11.5

-9.5

-7.5

-5.5

-3.5

-1.5

-0.5
-1
-1.5

ln(/t)

-2
-2.5
-3
-3.5
-4
-4.5
-5

-(2t/R2)x,y,z x106
40 C

Fig 3.1. Plot of

y = 3.25E-01x - 2.12E-01
R = 9.29E-01

Linear (40 C)

) vs (

) for heating with water temperature of 40C

ln(/t)vs -(2t/R2)x,y,z
0
-17

-15

-13

-11

-9

-7

-5

-3

-1
-0.5
-1
-1.5
-2

ln(/t)

The

conductivity of 0.17 W/mK (Harper, 2004) for the


resin, the Biot number is equal to 309.

-2.5
-3
-3.5
-4
-4.5
-(2t/R2)x,y,z x106
60.3 C

Fig 3.2. Plot of

) vs (

Linear (60.3 C)

-5
y = 2.33E-01x - 1.19E-01
R = 9.83E-01

) for heating with water temperature of 60.3C

are

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

ln(/t)vs -(2t/R2)x,y,z
1
0
-15

-13

-11

-9

-7

-5

-3

-1

-1

ln(/t)

-2
-3
-4
-5
-6
-7

-(2t/R2)x,y,z x106
80 C

Fig 3.3. Plot of

) vs (

Linear (80 C)

y = 2.91E-01x + 7.33E-02
R = 9.25E-01

) for heating with water temperature of 80C

ln(/t) vs -(2t/R2)x,y,z
1
0
-25

-20

-15

-10

-5

ln(/t)

-1
-2
-3
-4
-5

-(2t/R2)x,y,z x106
cooling

Fig 3.3. Plot of

) vs (

The thermal diffusivities obtained for the polyester


resin cube and corresponding percent deviations
from a literature value of 1.06x10-7 m2/s (Welty,
2008) are
Table 2. Thermal diffusivity and percent deviation for the
heating and cooling of polyester resin cube

Water bath
temperature
(C)

Thermal
diffusivity (m2/s)

Percent
Deviation (%)

Linear (cooling)

y = 1.82E-01x + 8.00E-02
R = 9.28E-01

) for cooling from an initial temperature of 80C

40
60.3
80
4.0 (cooling)

3.25x10-7
2.33x10-7
2.91x10-7
1.82x10-7

206.60
119.81
174.53
71.70

Heating and cooling for both cubes exhibit the same


behavior. The rate of temperature change is faster at
the start and becomes slower when its temperature
is approaching the temperature of the water bath.

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

The plots show that the non-metal takes longer time


for heat transfer. Also, near the start and near the
end of the plot, the slope is non-linear, which means
that the thermal diffusivity is changing. Whereas for
the metals, the time for heat transfer is relatively
short and the slope is already linear, meaning that
the thermal diffusivity is constant.
One probable source of error is the value of thermal
heat-transfer coefficient used. Also, adhesive
material on the top of the cube also blocked some
are for heat transfer. One face of the cube is also in
contact with the metal inside the temperature bath.
For the cooling system, some parts of the cube are
exposed to liquid water and some to ice. This should
be taken into account for the thermal heat-transfer
coefficient used.
4. Conclusion and Recommendations
The experiment did not yield thermal diffusivity
values with high accuracy, especially for the
polyester resin system. The deviations for the steel
cube system, from a literature value are 41.49%,
37.7%, 94.68%, and 46.81% for water bath
temperatures of 40, 60.4, and 80C and for cooling,
respectively. On the other hand, the deviations for
the steel cube system, from a literature value are
206.60%, 119.81%, 174.53%, and 71.70% for water
bath temperatures of 40, 60.3, and 80C and for
cooling, respectively. For experiments to be done in
the future, the thermal heat-transfer coefficients to
be used should take into account the geometry,
fluid properties, flow velocity, and the temperature
difference of the system.
References
[1] Geankoplis C. Transport Processes and Unit
Operations. 3rd ed. USA: Prentice-Hall Internation,
Inc. 1993
[2] Perry R, Green D. Perrys Chemical Engineers
Handbook. 8th ed. USA: The McGraw-Hill
Companies, Inc. 2008.
[3] New Age Publishers. Heat and Mass Transfer Data
Book. New Age Publishers. n.d. Available at:
http://www.newagepublishers.com/samplechapter/0
00915.pdf
[4] Harper C. Handbook of Building Materials for Fire
Protection. McGraw-Hill. 2004
[5] Welty, Wicks, Wilson, Rorrer. Fundamentals of
Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer. 5th ed.
Hamilton Printing. 2008

R.M. Asprec, P. Cruz, R.V. Mendoza / Process Eng. Lab. (2015)

Appendix
Sample Calculations
1.

Area of a cube
)
(
)

(
(

2. Volume
( )( )( )
(
)(

)(

(
(
3.

)
Biot Number
( )