Over the last decades, many experimental methods have been developed and improved to measure thermophysical properties of matter. This chapter gives an overview over the most common techniques to obtain thermal conductivity λ as a function of temperature T. These methods can be divided into steady state and transient methods. At the Institute of Experimental Physics at Graz University of Technology, an ohmic pulse-heating apparatus was installed in the 1980s, and has been further improved over the years, which allows the investigation of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity for the end of the solid phase and especially for the liquid phase of metals and alloys. This apparatus will be described in more detail. To determine thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity with the ohmic pulse-heating method, the Wiedemann-Franz law is used. There are electronic as well as lattice contributions to thermal conductivity. As the materials examined at Graz University of Technology, are mostly in the liquid phase, the lattice contribution to thermal conductivity is negligibly small in most cases. Uncertainties for thermal conductivity for aluminum have been estimated ±6% in the solid phase and ±5% in the liquid phase.
Part of the book: Impact of Thermal Conductivity on Energy Technologies