The well-established Hot Disk Transient Plane Source (TPS) method allows rapid, accurate and non-destructive testing of Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Diffusivity and Specific Heat Capacity of most material types, all in a single measurement. Conductivity and Diffusivity are tested directly and Specific Heat calculated from the former two.

A key aspect of the TPS method is that it is absolute. There is no need for repeated calibrations or use of standard samples, as is common with other approaches. The TPS method is highly flexible and merely requires one or two pieces of the sample in question to test, each needing no more than one flat surface where the Hot Disk double spiral sensor can be applied. There is no need for fixed sample geometries, inherently distorting contact agents or cumbersome surface modifications.

To underline the robustness of the technique, many peer-reviewed papers explaining and evaluating the technique have been published in scientific journals. Since 2008 the method is standardised in ISO 22007-2, and over the years thousands of publications featuring results acquired with Hot Disk instruments have been published.

In this section, a brief history of Hot Disk AB is given. Furthermore, key publications are presented and linked. We always strive to give our users, present and future, a greater understanding of the powerful Hot Disk technique and its benefits.

Top 5 Hot Disk Publications

In these five fundamental Hot Disk publications the essential idea, isotropic, anisotropic, slab, thin-film and specific heat measurement methods are described. Information on the calculation method and the use of small sensors are also discussed. The standard ISO 22007-2 is based on reference 1 to 4.

1. ”Transient plane source techniques for thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity measurements of solid materials
Silas E. Gustafsson
Rev. Sci. Instrum., 62 (3), 797-804 (1991).

2. ”Thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat of thin samples from transient measurements with Hot Disk sensors
Mattias Gustavsson, Ernest Karawacki and Silas E. Gustafsson
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 65 (12), 3856 (1994).

3. ”On the Use of Transient Plane Source Sensors for Studying Materials with Direction Dependent Properties
Mattias Karl Gustavsson and Silas E. Gustafsson
Proceedings of the 26th International Thermal Conductivity Conference, Massachusetts, Cambridge, 6–8 August 2005, edited by R. Dinwiddie (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 2004), p. 367–377.

4. ”On the Use of the Hot Disk Thermal Constants Analyser for Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Thin Samples of Electrically Insulating Materials
J.S. Gustavsson, Mattias Karl Gustavsson and Silas E. Gustafsson
Thermal Conductivity 24, Eds. P.S. Gaal, D. E. Apostolescu (Lancaster, MA: Technomic), p. 116-122 (1997).

5. ”Specific heat measurements with the Hot Disk thermal constants analyser
Mattias Karl Gustavsson, N. S. Saxena, Ernest Karawacki and Silas E. Gustafsson
Thermal Conductivity 23, Eds. K. E. Wilkes, R. B. Dinwiddie, R. S. Graves (Lancaster, MA: Technomic) p. 56-65 (1995).


Further reading

We are proud that there are 1000’s of publications featuring the Hot Disk method and measurements. In the section below, selected and recommended publications providing in-depth understanding of the Hot Disk method are presented.

In this novel and innovative work, the Hot Disk TPS system is utilized to study near-field radiative heat transfer across voids as narrow as 150 nm. A full description on how to perform such measurements are found in the publication:
“Dynamic measurement of near-field radiative heat transfer”
S. Lang, G. Sharma, S. Molesky, P. U. Kränzien, T. Jalas, Z. Jacob, A. Yu. Petrov and M. Eich
Nature Scientific Reports, Volume 7, 13916 (2017)


Thermal simulations of the Hot Disk sensor, describing how the heat spreads from the sensor during a measurement, can be found in this practical paper:
“Finite element modeling of the Hot Disc method”
B. M. Mihiretie, D. Cederkrantz, A. Rosén, H. Otterberg, M. Sundin, S.E. Gustafsson and M. Karlsteen
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Volume 115, Part B, December 2017, Pages 216–223.

The novel Hot Disk Structural Probe is explained in this paper:
“Thermal conductivity versus depth profiling of inhomogeneous materials using the hot disc technique”
A. Sizov, D. Cederkrantz, L. Salmi, A. Rosén, L. Jacobson, S. E. Gustafsson and M. Gustavsson
Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 074901 (2016)

In this publication the practical use of the Hot Disk structural probe is discussed and evaluated:
“Thermal depth profiling of materials for defect detection using hot disk technique”
B. M. Mihiretie, D. Cederkrantz, a), M. Sundin, A. Rosén, H. Otterberg, Å. Hinton, B. Berg and M. Karlsteen
AIP Advances 6, 085217 (2016)

The fine-tuned calculation scheme and the compensation for sensor specific heat is described in this paper. It also contains an introduction to the Low-Density/Highly-Insulating measurement module:
On Power Variation in Self-Heated Thermal Sensors
Mattias Karl Gustavsson and Silas E. Gustafsson
Thermal Conductivity 27, pp. 338-346 (2005)


In the international standard ISO 22007-2, originally published in 2008 and updated in 2015, a detailed description on how to select points for calculation is found. In the appendix the full description of the Low-Density/Highly-Insulating measurement module is included:
ISO 22007-2

One-dimensional measurements and calculations are described in this publication:
“Dynamic plane-source technique for the study of the thermal transport properties of solids”
Ernest Karawacki and Bashir M. Suleiman
High Temp.-High Press. 23, 215-223 (1991)


A theoretical explanation of the time window connection is presented in the following paper:
“Parameter estimations for measurements of thermal transport properties with the hot disk thermal constants analyzer”
Vlastimil Bohac, Mattias K. Gustavsson, Ludovit Kubicar and Silas E. Gustafsson
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71 (6), 2452-2455 (2000)


How to stabilize calculations by locking the specific heat per unit volume is explained here:
“Thermal properties of lithium sulphate”
B M Suleiman, M Gustavsson, E Karawacki, A Lundén
J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 30, 2553 (1997)


In this paper the Hot Disk technique is used to study thermal transport properties of wood:
“Thermal conductivity and diffusivity of wood”
B. M. Suleiman, J. Larfeldt, B. Leckner and M. Gustavsson
Wood Science and Technology (1999) 33: 465


Here the use of a Hot Disk device to analyse liquids is described. The article also discuss how the method can be used to monitor small structural changes in a compound:
“Thermal conductivity as an indicator of fat content in milk”
Mattias Gustavsson and Silas E. Gustafsson
Thermochimica Acta, Volume 442, Issues 1–2, 15 March 2006, Pages 1-5



About Hot Disk

The Hot Disk AB company was established in 1995, based on Dr. Silas E. Gustafsson’s groundbreaking research at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Today this development continues. Hot Disk AB, still based in Gothenburg, remains a fully independent, self-funded company dedicated solely to expanding the frontiers of testing and measuring thermal transport properties, with an abiding focus on quality and performance. Hot Disk AB and its esteemed distribution network now provides instruments on a global market, with nearly 1500 units installed worldwide to date (April 2021). The instrumentation’s fields of use are too numerous to list here, but include the aerospace industry, car manufacturers, material science, semiconductor and electronics industries, civil engineering, quality control etc. In scientific journals, there are now hundreds upon hundreds of peer-reviewed papers utilizing the Hot Disk technique, high-lighting the excellent value the equipment continues to add to the countless fields of material research.

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