Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Roger Beardsley

Third Committee Member

Charles Pringle


The thermal conductivity measuring device is used to measure thermal conductivity of solids, liquids, and food products. Thermal conductivity is a material property that determines the rate at which heat disperses through a material. This determines how well insulation works, what materials are used as heat sinks, refrigeration, and how thoroughly food is cooked. The device measures thermal conductivity by heating up a thermistor bead using a high magnitude current for a measured duration and allowing the given heat to disperse; meeting the goal of designing a device that can easily measure the conductivity. Additional requirements of this device include weight, volume, test time, prep time, accuracy, and easily replaceable thermistors. Most importantly the device must measure with 95% accuracy. To accomplish these goals the measuring device utilizes DAQ NI modules and multiple electrical components to construct a successful instrumentation system. The circuitry is housed in 3D printed ABS plastic sized for hand-held use. A puncturing piece is made from stainless steel is used to pierce through food product. Methods used to create this device include 3D printing, circuitry construction, software construction, and machining. The thermal conductivity measuring device constructed exceeds all requirements and is a conventional method of measuring thermal conductivity.