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Thermal Conductivity Testing
Time£º2012/1/16 12:22:03¡¡Hits£º3189´Î
 

Vermiculite board thermal conductivity testing
Introduction
The following report contains the results obtained by comparing 3 types of material of identical thickness (1 ¼¡± or 32mm); 
1- Vermiculite board,  2- cement firebrick commonly used in wood stoves, and 3-ceramic firebrick commonly used in wood stoves. 
The goal of the test was to evaluate the refractory and heat preservation capability of Vermiculite to determine whether it is equal, superior, of inferior to that of conventional firebrick.
Set-up
In order to compare each type of material, a test bench has been set-up using a gas burner, a steel box, and thermocouples. Temperatures have been gathered at each minute during 30 minutes.
Thermocouples #3 and #4 are the most important thermocouples. They are attached to the steel plate above the test material. A lower temperature reading on those thermocouples represent a higher refractory capacity of the material (or lower thermal conductivity).  Thermocouples #1 and #2 measured the temperature above the steel plate and were installed to make sure that each test was performed under similar conditions. 
Results
 The results obtained are shown in an Excel table (see Appendix I). They were plotted in a graph and three curves were derived to compare each material.


 
Analysis
The curves obtained are based on the average temperature of thermocouples #3 and #4, for which data is presented in the blue section of the results tables in Appendix I.  The curves clearly show a higher refractory and heat preservation capability (lower thermal conductivity) for the Vermiculite compared to conventional firebrick.  
Conclusion
 Based on the results obtained, we are confident that the use of Vermiculite to replace firebrick in the baffle of wood stoves will not lead to a higher temperature on the top of the unit, and therefore, will not change clearances of the unit to combustible material.  Furthermore, the use of vermiculite material will not lead to any heat loss inside the firebox, and therefore, will allow the unit to maintain its internal temperature at an equal or higher level. As a result, the unit will emit an equal or lower amount of particulates.

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