Thermal and hygrometric measurements
Laboratory has developed standards and measurements system to meet specific needs in the area of energy efficiency of the buildings and is deal, in particular:
thermal conductivity measurements on insulating materials according to ISO 8302 and EN 12667 standards by a Guarded-Hot Plate technique in the range from 0.005 Wm-1K-1 to 2 Wm-1K-1
development of reference standard for the calibration of heat flux sensor (HFS) used in energy assessment and in thermal transmittance/conductance measurements of buildings envelopes on site.
In these areas, it responds to specific requests from public or private entities through participation in industrial research projects and collaborations.
In this laboratory, techniques and measurement methods for hygrometric and thermal quantities such as dew/frost point temperature, air temperature, relative humidity, moisture in solid materials, water vapour pressure and surface temperature are implemented.
In hygrometry, the laboratory has two primary humidity generators covering the dew/frost point temperature range from -80 °C to +95 °C at ambient pressure and a third generator that produces humid gas mixtures with a frost point temperature between -100 °C and -20 °C at sub-atmospheric pressure.
The laboratory is equipped with instruments for the measurement of water vapour in gas, such as chilled mirror hygrometers, cavity ring down spectroscopy analysers, as well as instruments for the measurements of the moisture in polymers, wood, biomaterials and others porous materials with humid contents between 50 mg/g and 0.5 g/g.
A device for the measurement of vapour pressure of supercooled light (H2O) and heavy (D2O) water has been developed in order to validate the mathematical models based on the Clausius – Clapeyron equation, over the range of supercooled water.
In the framework of CIPM and EURAMET activities, the laboratory takes part in international comparisons supporting CMCs and in national and international research projects.
In thermometry, the activity is focused on the development of electronic and electro-optic methods in such a way as to ensure the traceability of temperature measurements in critical and special applications, where traditional electrical thermometry is unable to operate and on the development of standards and references for surface thermometry. Specifically, the activity concerns:
- the study and development of surface temperature standards and references; a reference system for the surface temperature in the range between ambient temperature and 450 °C has been developed and is now available;
- the application of electro-optic techniques for both contact and contactless surface temperature measurements; in particular, a technique based on thermographic phosphors has been developed for the measurement of surface temperature in special industrial applications, such as heat treatment and forging of special alloys for the manufacturing industry;
- the development of transfer standards for measurement in critical environments by means of fiber optic thermometers.