A Modified Method for Estimating the Thermal Conductivity of Sands

  • Aaron J. Rubin
  • Carlton L. Ho
Conference paper


Estimation of soil thermal conductivity is important for many practical geotechnical and civil engineering applications including the thermal performance of buried pipelines and geothermal heat pumps. A significant number of empirical-fit methods to estimate the thermal conductivity of sands exist in the existing literature. This paper provides a modification to an existing semi-analytical model developed by S.K. Haigh published in 2012. Haigh (2012) proposed an analytical 2D model developed based on unidirectional heat flow through a three-phase soil element. Haigh (2012) added an empirical fit based on a database of 155 test measurements to the analytical model to improve performance. This paper provides an alternative empirical fit to the analytical method to better retain the original physical origin of the model. The new model is validated with an additional 124 test measurements.


Theoretical analysis Thermal conductivity Sand properties 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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