Thermal Conductivity Calculator (heat flux)

Enter the thermal conductivity constant, the temperature difference, and change in distance to calculate the heat flux of an object.

Thermal Conductivity Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the heat flux, q, of a material. This is equation is driven and derived through Fourier’s law of heat flux.

q = – n * ΔT / Δx

  • Where q is the heat flux (W/m^2)
  • Δx is the distance the heat is transferred through a material
  • ΔT is the change in temperature across the material
  • n is the thermal conductivity of the material

The units for heat flux are watts per meters squared or in other words, energy per area. This makes logical since in that a change in temperature across an object is the same as the change in energy across the area of the object. In this formula it’s important to keep in mind that the units for x need to be in meters and the units for temperature need to be in Kelvin.

Thermal Conductivity Definition

Thermal conductivity is defined as the ability of a material or object to transfer heat through the process of conduction.

How to calculate thermal conductivity?

How to calculate thermal conductivity?

  1. First, determine the change in temperature.

    Through an experiment you have set up, measure the change in temperature of a material.

  2. Next, determine the distance.

    Measure the distance the heat has travelled.

  3. Next, determine the heat flux.

    Measure the total heat flux through the material.

  4. Finally, calculate the thermal conductivity.

    Using the formula above, re-arrange the equation to solve for thermal conductivity.


What is thermal conductivity?

Thermal conductivity is a measure of the ability or resistance of a material to transfer heat through conduction.

Thermal Conductivity Calculator