International Journal of Thermophysics

, Volume 36, Issue 8, pp 2085–2098 | Cite as

Dry Block Calibrator Using Heat Flux Sensors and an Adiabatic Shield

  • M. Hohmann
  • S. Marin
  • M. Schalles
  • G. Krapf
  • T. Fröhlich


The main problems of conventional dry block calibrators are axial temperature gradients and calibration results which are strongly influenced by the geometry and the thermal properties of the thermometers under test. To overcome these disadvantages, a new dry block calibrator with improved homogeneity of the inner temperature field was developed for temperatures in the range from room temperature up to \(600\,^{\circ }\hbox {C}\). The inner part of the dry block calibrator is a cylindrical normalization block which is divided into three parts in the axial direction. Between these parts, heat flux sensors are placed to measure the heat flux in the axial direction inside the normalization block. Each part is attached to a separate tube-shaped heating zone of which the heating power can be controlled in a way that the axial heat flux measured by means of the heat flux sensors is zero. Additionally, an internal reference thermometer is used to control the absolute value of the temperature inside the normalization block. To minimize the radial heat flux, an adiabatic shield is constructed which is composed of a secondary heating zone that encloses the whole assembly. For rapid changes of the set point from high to low temperatures, the design contains an additional ventilation system to cool the normalization block. The present paper shows the operating principle as well as the results of the design process, in which numerical simulations based on the finite element method were used to evaluate and optimize the design of the dry block calibrator. The final optimized design can be used to build a prototype of the dry block calibrator.


Adiabatic shield Dry block calibrator Finite element modeling  Heat flux sensors Multi-zone-heating 

List of Symbols


Area of the heater \((\hbox {m}^{-2})\)

\(\eta \)

Factor for Cauchy boundary condition \((\hbox {W}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-2}{\cdot }\hbox {K}^{-1})\)


Heat flux \((\hbox {W}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-2})\)


Heating power (W)


Ingoing heat flux \((\hbox {W}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-2})\)


Outgoing heat flux \((\hbox {W}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-2})\)


Number of junctions (1)


Sensitivity of the sensor \((\hbox {V}{\cdot }\hbox {W}^{-1}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{2})\)


Sensitivity of the TC \((\hbox {V}{\cdot }\hbox {K}^{-1})\)


Sensor signal (V)


Time (s)


Temperature (K)

\(\nabla {T}\)

Temperature gradient \((\hbox {K}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-1})\)


Temperature of heater (K)


Temperature of normalization block (K)

\(\lambda \)

Thermal conductivity \((\hbox {W}{\cdot }\hbox {m}^{-1}{\cdot }\hbox {K}^{-1})\)


Thickness (m)



The authors would like to thank the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for the financial support of the VIP-Project “TempKal,” in which context this dry block calibrator was developed.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Hohmann
    • 1
  • S. Marin
    • 1
  • M. Schalles
    • 1
  • G. Krapf
    • 1
  • T. Fröhlich
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Prozessmess- und SensortechnikTechnische Universität IlmenauIlmenauGermany

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