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Solids, Liquids and Gases - Thermal Conductivities

Thermal conductivity coefficients for insulation materials, aluminum, asphalt, brass, copper, steel, gases and more.

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Thermal conductivity is a material property that describes ability to conduct heat . Thermal conductivity can be defined as

"the quantity of heat transmitted through a unit thickness of a material - in a direction normal to a surface of unit area - due to a unit temperature gradient under steady state conditions"

Thermal conductivity units are [W/(m K)] in the SI system and [Btu/(hr ft °F)] in the Imperial system.

See also thermal conductivity variations with temperature and pressure , for: Air , Ammonia , Carbon Dioxide and Water

Thermal conductivities for common materials and products:

Thermal Conductivities common Materials and Products
Material/Substance Thermal Conductivity - k -
W/(m K)

Temperature
25 oC
(77 o F)
125 oC
(257 o F)
225 oC
(437 o F)
Acetals 0.23
Acetals 0.23
Acetone 0.16
Acetylene (gas) 0.018
Acrylic 0.2
Air, atmosphere (gas) 0.0262 0.0333 0.0398
Air, elevation 10000 m 0.020
Agate 10.9
Alcohol 0.17
Alumina 36 26
Aluminum
Aluminum Brass 121
Aluminum Oxide 30
Ammonia (gas) 0.0249 0.0369 0.0528
Antimony 18.5
Apple (85.6% moisture) 0.39
Argon (gas) 0.016
Asbestos-cement board 1) 0.744
Asbestos-cement sheets 1) 0.166
Asbestos-cement 1) 2.07
Asbestos, loosely packed 1) 0.15
Asbestos mill board 1) 0.14
Asphalt 0.75
Balsa wood 0.048
Bitumen 0.17
Bitumen/felt layers 0.5
Beef, lean (78.9 % moisture) 0.43 - 0.48
Benzene 0.16
Beryllium
Bismuth 8.1
Bitumen 0.17
Blast furnace gas (gas) 0.02
Boiler scale 1.2 - 3.5
Boron 25
Brass
Breeze block 0.10 - 0.20
Brick dense 1.31
Brick, fire 0.47
Brick, insulating 0.15
Brickwork, common (Building Brick) 0.6 -1.0
Brickwork, dense 1.6
Bromine (gas) 0.004
Bronze
Brown iron ore 0.58
Butter (15% moisture content) 0.20
Cadmium
Calcium silicate 0.05
Carbon 1.7
Carbon dioxide (gas) 0.0146
Carbon monoxide 0.0232
Cast iron
Cellulose, cotton, wood pulp and regenerated 0.23

Cellulose acetate, molded, sheet

0.17 - 0.33
Cellulose nitrate, celluloid 0.12 - 0.21
Cement, Portland 0.29
Cement, mortar 1.73
Ceramic materials
Chalk 0.09
Charcoal 0.084
Chlorinated poly-ether 0.13
Chlorine (gas) 0.0081
Chrome Nickel Steel 16.3
Chromium
Chrom-oxide 0.42
Clay, dry to moist 0.15 - 1.8
Clay, saturated 0.6 - 2.5
Coal 0.2
Cobalt
Cod (83% moisture content) 0.54
Coke 0.184
Concrete, lightweight 0.1 - 0.3
Concrete, medium 0.4 - 0.7
Concrete, dense 1.0 - 1.8
Concrete, stone 1.7
Constantan 23.3
Copper
Corian (ceramic filled) 1.06
Cork board 0.043
Cork, re-granulated 0.044
Cork 0.07
Cotton 0.04
Cotton wool 0.029
Carbon Steel
Cotton Wool insulation 0.029
Cupronickel 30% 30
Diamond 1000
Diatomaceous earth (Sil-o-cel) 0.06
Diatomite 0.12
Duralium
Earth, dry 1.5
Ebonite 0.17
Emery 11.6
Engine Oil 0.15
Ethane (gas) 0.018
Ether 0.14
Ethylene (gas) 0.017
Epoxy 0.35
Ethylene glycol 0.25
Feathers 0.034
Felt insulation 0.04
Fiberglass 0.04
Fiber insulating board 0.048
Fiber hardboard 0.2
Fire-clay brick 500 oC 1.4
Fluorine (gas) 0.0254
Foam glass 0.045
Dichlorodifluoromethane R-12 (gas) 0.007
Dichlorodifluoromethane R-12 (liquid) 0.09
Gasoline 0.15
Glass 1.05
Glass, Pearls, dry 0.18
Glass, Pearls, saturated 0.76
Glass, window 0.96
Glass, wool Insulation 0.04
Glycerol 0.28
Gold
Granite 1.7 - 4.0
Graphite 168
Gravel 0.7
Ground or soil, very moist area 1.4
Ground or soil, moist area 1.0
Ground or soil, dry area 0.5
Ground or soil, very dry area 0.33
Gypsum board 0.17
Hairfelt 0.05
Hardboard high density 0.15
Hardwoods (oak, maple..) 0.16
Hastelloy C 12
Helium (gas) 0.142
Honey (12.6% moisture content) 0.5
Hydrochloric acid (gas) 0.013
Hydrogen (gas) 0.168
Hydrogen sulfide (gas) 0.013
Ice (0 oC, 32 o F) 2.18
Inconel 15
Ingot iron 47 - 58
Insulation materials 0.035 - 0.16
Iodine 0.44
Iridium 147
Iron
Iron-oxide 0.58
Kapok insulation 0.034
Kerosene 0.15
Krypton (gas) 0.0088
Lead
Leather, dry 0.14
Limestone 1.26 - 1.33
Lithium
Magnesia insulation (85%) 0.07
Magnesite 4.15
Magnesium
Magnesium alloy 70 - 145
Marble 2.08 - 2.94
Mercury, liquid
Methane (gas) 0.030
Methanol 0.21
Mica 0.71
Milk 0.53
Mineral wool insulation materials, wool blankets .. 0.04
Molybdenum
Monel
Neon (gas) 0.046
Neoprene 0.05
Nickel
Nitric oxide (gas) 0.0238
Nitrogen (gas) 0.024
Nitrous oxide (gas) 0.0151
Nylon 6, Nylon 6/6 0.25
Oil, machine lubricating SAE 50 0.15
Olive oil 0.17
Oxygen (gas) 0.024
Palladium 70.9
Paper 0.05
Paraffin Wax 0.25
Peat 0.08
Perlite, atmospheric pressure 0.031
Perlite, vacuum 0.00137
Phenolic cast resins 0.15
Phenol-formaldehyde moulding compounds 0.13 - 0.25
Phosphorbronze 110
Pinchbeck 159
Pitch 0.13
Pit coal 0.24
Plaster light 0.2
Plaster, metal lath 0.47
Plaster, sand 0.71
Plaster, wood lath 0.28
Plasticine 0.65 - 0.8
Plastics, foamed (insulation materials) 0.03
Platinum
Plutonium
Plywood 0.13
Polycarbonate 0.19
Polyester 0.05
Polyethylene low density, PEL 0.33
Polyethylene high density, PEH 0.42 - 0.51
Polyisoprene natural rubber 0.13
Polyisoprene hard rubber 0.16
Polymethylmethacrylate 0.17 - 0.25
Polypropylene, PP 0.1 - 0.22
Polystyrene, expanded 0.03
Polystyrol 0.043
Polyurethane foam 0.03
Porcelain 1.5
Potassium 1
Potato, raw flesh 0.55
Propane (gas) 0.015
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) 0.25
Polyvinylchloride, PVC 0.19
Pyrex glass 1.005
Quartz mineral 3
Radon (gas) 0.0033
Red metal
Rhenium
Rhodium
Rock, solid 2 - 7
Rock, porous volcanic (Tuff) 0.5 - 2.5
Rock Wool insulation 0.045
Rosin 0.32
Rubber, cellular 0.045
Rubber, natural 0.13
Rubidium
Salmon (73% moisture content) 0.50
Sand, dry 0.15 - 0.25
Sand, moist 0.25 - 2
Sand, saturated 2 - 4
Sandstone 1.7
Sawdust 0.08
Selenium
Sheep wool 0.039
Silica aerogel 0.02
Silicon cast resin 0.15 - 0.32
Silicon carbide 120
Silicon oil 0.1
Silver
Slag wool 0.042
Slate 2.01
Snow (temp < 0 oC) 0.05 - 0.25
Sodium
Softwoods (fir, pine ..) 0.12
Soil, clay 1.1
Soil, with organic matter 0.15 - 2
Soil, saturated 0.6 - 4

Solder 50-50

50

Soot

0.07

Steam, saturated

0.0184
Steam, low pressure 0.0188
Steatite 2
Steel, Carbon
Steel, Stainless
Straw slab insulation, compressed 0.09
Styrofoam 0.033
Sulfur dioxide (gas) 0.0086
Sulfur, crystal 0.2
Sugars 0.087 - 0.22
Tantalum
Tar 0.19
Tellurium 4.9
Thorium
Timber, alder 0.17
Timber, ash 0.16
Timber, birch 0.14
Timber, larch 0.12
Timber, maple 0.16
Timber, oak 0.17
Timber, pitchpine 0.14
Timber, pockwood 0.19
Timber, red beech 0.14
Timber, red pine 0.15
Timber, white pine 0.15
Timber, walnut 0.15
Tin
Titanium
Tungsten
Uranium
Urethane foam 0.021
Vacuum 0
Vermiculite granules 0.065
Vinyl ester 0.25
Water 0.606
Water, vapor (steam) 0.0267 0.0359
Wheat flour 0.45
White metal 35 - 70
Wood across the grain, white pine 0.12
Wood across the grain, balsa 0.055
Wood across the grain, yellow pine, timber 0.147
Wood, oak 0.17
Wool, felt 0.07
Wood wool, slab 0.1 - 0.15
Xenon (gas) 0.0051
Zinc

1) Asbestos is bad for human health when the tiny abrasive fibers are inhaled into the lungs where they can damage the lung tissue. This seems to be exacerbated by cigarette smoking and the resulting diseases are mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Example - Conductive Heat Transfer through an Aluminum Pot versus a Stainless Steel Pot

Convective heat transfer

The conductive heat transfer through a pot wall can be calculated as

q = (k / s) A dT                                                (1)

or alternatively

q / A = (k / s) dT

where

q = heat transfer (W, Btu/h)

A = surface area (m2, ft2)

q / A = heat transfer per unit area (W/m2, Btu/(h ft2))

k = thermal conductivity  (W/mK, Btu/(hr ft °F))

dT = t 1 - t2= temperature difference ( oC, o F)

s = wall thickness (m, ft)

Conductive Heat Transfer Calculator

Note! - that the overall heat transfer through a surface is determined by the " overall heat transfer coefficient " - which in addition to conductive heat transfer - depends on

Conductive Heat Transfer through an Aluminum Pot Wall with thickness 2 mm - temperature difference 80 oC

Thermal conductivity for aluminum is 215 W/(m K) (from the table above). Conductive heat transfer per unit area can be calculated as

q / A = [(215 W/(m K)) / (2 10 -3 m)] (80 oC)

= 86 00000 (W/m2)

= 8600 (kW/m2)

Conductive Heat Transfer through a Stainless Steel Pot Wall with thickness 2 mm - temperature difference 80 oC

Thermal conductivity for stainless steel is 17 W/(m K) (from the table above). Conductive heat transfer per unit area can be calculated as

q / A = [(17 W/(m K)) / (2 10 -3 m)] (80 oC)

= 680000 (W/m2)

= 680 (kW/m2)

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Related Topics

  • Insulation

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  • Material Properties

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  • Thermodynamics

    Work, heat and energy systems.

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