Experimental Determination of Thermal Conductivity of Cortical Bone by Compensating Heat Loss in Parallel Plate Method

  • JuEun Lee
  • Seon Jeong Huh
  • Hee Joon Lee
Regular Paper


This paper presents an experimental measurement of the thermal conductivity of bovine cortical bone by an improved parallel plate method to increase the accuracy of the measurement. An experimental apparatus was designed to measure the thermal conductivity of the cortical bone using a reference material with a known thermal conductivity by the heat transfer through the samples. To improve the measurement accuracy, a reference material was selected as quartz, which is of the same order of magnitude of the thermal conductivity of bovine cortical bone reported in the existing literature. Additionally, the temperatures at the heat source and heat sink were set to ±5°C from the ambient temperature to reduce the inevitable heat loss in the measurement. The temperature offset was determined numerically. The current experimental measurement was validated by an in-house finite-difference numerical program. The heat loss in the measurement was predicted from the numerical program. The thermal conductivity of the bovine cortical bone was then determined to be 0.55 ± 0.02 W/mK with compensating heat loss.


Thermal conductivity Cortical bone Parallel plate method Heat loss Reference material 





Biot number




thermal conductivity




heat rate


sample radius


thermal resistance


radial direction of a cylindrical sample






longitudinal direction of a cylindrical sample



between bone specimen and cartridge heater


between bone specimen and reference material


between reference material and copper block




bone specimen




insulation material


node index in the z direction


heat loss and heat gain






reference material




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© Korean Society for Precision Engineering and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of the PacificStocktonUSA
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringKookmin UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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