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Experimental Determination of the Thermal Conductivity of Porous Copper


Pinkerton, Charles C. (1949) Experimental Determination of the Thermal Conductivity of Porous Copper. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/T9JD-BK76.


The techniques of powder metallurgy have produced porous variations of the metals copper, steel and nickel. The proposed application of these porous metals in the sweat-cooling of jet propulsion engines demands an exact knowledge of their thermal as well as their physical properties. This thesis presents an experimental determination of the thermal conductivity of copper as a function of porosity, and an insight into the way this conductivity depends on temperature. The experiments were performed on a simplified version of the apparatus used by the Bureau of Standards for solid metals. Four copper specimens varying in porosity from 22 to 42 per cent were measured. The results obtained are consistent with those predicted by other investigators from entirely different considerations. The results are summarized in two graphs. The first shows temperature versus thermal conductivity. The second gives thermal conductivity versus porosity. It is shown that porosity largely determines thermal conductivity while temperature is distinctly a second-order influence. An analytical expression for the variation of thermal conductivity with porosity is introduced, and general agreement with the experimental results is noted.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 August 1948
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-01282009-130000
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:396
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:29 Jan 2009
Last Modified:29 Mar 2023 16:47

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PDF (Pinkerton_cc_1949.pdf) - Final Version
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