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Hot Dry Rocks Pty Ltd owns and operates Australia's only commercial laboratory for the measurement of the thermal properties of rocks.  HDR uses its own proprietary  equipment to measure thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat capacity.  We measure porosity and density by standard means.

Why measure thermal rock properties?

The three key thermal properties of rocks are thermal conductivity (λ), thermal diffusivity (κ) and specific heat capacity (cp).  These properties are inter-related, along with density (ρ), according to κ = λ / ρ cp.  The thermal conductivity of a rock controls the thermal gradient for a given flow of heat.  The thermal diffusivity controls the rate at which a thermal disturbance re-equilibrates through time.  The specific heat capacity controls the amount of heat that a rock can store at a given temperature.  Knowing these values allows us to predict temperature at depth in conductive settings; model the transfer of heat by fluid flow through the rock; design efficient air conditioning systems for mines; constrain dynamic models of geothermal energy systems; design efficient ground source heat pump systems; model the thermal history of basin sediments; or simply carry out basic petrophysical  research.

Specialist equipment such as the portable electronic divided bar is required for all these measurements, and accurate results depend on careful preparation of the samples prior to measurement.  HDR is one the world’s most experienced and reliable providers of these services.

Measurements offered...

  • Thermal conductivity, uniaxial or triaxial (for anisotropy)

  • Thermal diffusivity, uniaxial or triaxial (for anisotropy)

  • Specific heat capacity

  • Density and porosity

Auxiliary services...

  • Preparation from hand sample or core

  • Cutting, grinding, polishing

  • Dehydration and water saturation of samples

  • 'Saturation' with gelatine for highly porous samples

  • Selection of appropriate samples for measurement

  • Measurement of soft samples within polymer cells

For further information or a quotation for services, contact us directly.

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