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Evaluation of Thermal Conductivity of Installed-in-Place Polyurethane Foam Insulation by Experiment and Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Allen C. Smith, Narendra K. Gupta, Bruce J. Hardy, Kurt R. Eberl

Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC

Paper No. PVP2008-61591, pp. 279-283; 5 pages
  • ASME 2008 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 7: Operations, Applications and Components
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, July 27–31, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4830-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3828-5
  • Copyright © 2008 by Washington Savannah River Company LLC


In the thermal analysis of the 9977 package, it was found that calculated temperatures, determined using a typical thermal analysis code, did not match those measured in the experimental apparatus. The analysis indicated that the thermal resistance of the overpack in the experimental apparatus was less than that expected, based on manufacturer’s reported value of thermal conductivity. To resolve this question, the thermal conductivity of the installed foam was evaluated from the experimental results, using a simplified analysis. This study confirmed that the thermal resistance of the experimental apparatus was lower than that which would result from the manufacturer’s published values for thermal conductivity of the foam insulation. The test package was sectioned to obtain samples for measurement of material properties. In the course of the destructive examination a large uninsulated region was found at the bottom of the package, which accounted for the anomalous results. Subsequent measurement of thermal conductivity confirmed the manufacturer’s published values. The study provides useful insight into the use of simplified, scoping calculations for evaluation of thermal performance of packages.

Copyright © 2008 by Washington Savannah River Company LLC



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