Design and calibration of a rapid-response thin-film heat flux gage

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A local heat-flux measurement system was built, calibrated and tested for use in unsteady flows. The system was designed to maintain constant wall temperature boundary conditions. The measuring element is a thin-film heat flux gage made by sputter-coating gold on a substrate. A constant-temperature anemometer is used to maintain the thin-film gage at a specified temperature under fluctuating conditions. A separate temperature control system maintains the surrounding boundary at the gage temperature.

The system was calibrated for both steady and unsteady flows using a specially designed calibrator for local heat flux gages. The steady calibration was done with predominantly convective heat transfer . The unsteady calibration was achieved by adding oscillating radiant energy to the surface. Consequently, quantitative results can be obtained for both mean and fluctuating components of the heat transfer. The frequency response was good to 92 hertz. Sample results are presented for unsteady heat transfer caused by the vortex shedding from a cylinder in a steady crossflow. The shedding frequency was 82 hertz.