The well-established Hot Disk Transient Plane Source (TPS) method allows rapid, accurate and non-destructive testing of Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Diffusivity and Specific Heat Capacity of most material types, all in a single measurement. Conductivity and Diffusivity are tested directly and specific heat calculated from the former two.

A key aspect of the TPS method is that it is absolute, with no need for repeated calibrations or use of standard samples. It is highly flexible and merely requires one or two pieces of the sample in question to test, each requiring no more than one flat surface where the Hot Disk double spiral sensor can be applied. With a thermal conductivity meter from Hot Disk, samples can be tested as they are. There is no need for fixed sample geometries, contact agents or surface modifications.

To underline the robustness of the technique, many peer-reviewed papers explaining and evaluating the technique have been published in scientific journals. Since 2008 the method is standardised in ISO 22007-2, and over the years thousands of publications featuring results acquired with Hot Disk instruments have been submitted and accepted.

In this section, a brief history of Hot Disk AB is given. Furthermore, key publications are presented and linked. We always strive to give our users, present and future, a greater understanding of the powerful Hot Disk technique and its benefits.

Top 5 Hot Disk publications

In these five fundamental Hot Disk publications the essential idea, isotropic, anisotropic, slab, thin-film and specific heat measurement methods are described. Information on the calculation method and the use of small sensors are also discussed. The standard ISO 22007-2 is based on reference 1 to 4.

1. ”Transient plane source techniques for thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity measurements of solid materials
Gustafsson, S.E.
Rev. Sci. Instrum., 62 (3), 797-804 (1991).

2. ”Thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity and specific heat of thin samples from transient measurement with Hot Disk sensors
Gustavsson, M., Karawacki, E., and Gustafsson, S.E.
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 65 (12), 3856 (1994).

3. ”On the Use of Transient Plane Source Sensors for Studying Materials with Direction Dependent Properties
Gustavsson, M. and Gustafsson, S.E.
Proceedings of the 26th International Thermal Conductivity Conference, Massachusetts, Cambridge, 6–8 August 2005, edited by R. Dinwiddie (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 2004), p. 367–377.

4. ”On the Use of the Hot Disk Thermal Constants Analyser for Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Thin Samples of Electrically Insulating Materials
Gustavsson, J.S., Gustavsson, M., and Gustafsson, S.E.
Thermal Conductivity 24, Eds. P.S. Gaal, D.E. Apostolescu (Lancaster, MA: Technomic), p. 116-122 (1997).

5. ”Specific heat measurements with the Hot Disk thermal constants analyser
Gustavsson, M., Saxena, N.S., Karawacki, E, and Gustafsson, S.E.
Thermal Conductivity 23, Eds. K.E. Wilkes, R.B. Dinwiddie, R.S. Graves (Lancaster, MA: Technomic) p. 56-65 (1995).


Further reading

We are proud that there are 1000’s of publications featuring the Hot Disk method and measurements. A great number of these can be browsed in the excellent paper database hosted by our partners at Thermtest Inc. You can access the database here.
In the section below, selected and recommended publications providing in-depth understanding of the Hot Disk method are presented.

Thermal simulations of the Hot Disk sensor, describing how the heat spreads from the sensor during a measurement, can be found in this practical paper:
“Finite element modeling of the Hot Disc method”
B.M. Mihiretie, D. Cederkrantz, A. Rosén, H. Otterberg, M. Sundin, S.E. Gustafsson and M. Karlsteen
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Volume 115, Part B, December 2017, Pages 216–223.

The novel Hot Disk Structural Probe is explained in this paper:
“Thermal conductivity versus depth profiling of inhomogeneous materials using the hot disc technique”
A. Sizov, D. Cederkrantz, L. Salmi, A. Rosén, L. Jacobson, S. E. Gustafsson, and M. Gustavsson
Review of Scientific Instruments 87, 074901 (2016)

In this publication the practical use of the Hot Disk structural probe is discussed and evaluated:
“Thermal depth profiling of materials for defect detection using hot disk technique”
B. M. Mihiretie, D. Cederkrantz, a), M. Sundin, A. Rosén, H. Otterberg, Å. Hinton, B. Berg, and M. Karlsteen
AIP Advances 6, 085217 (2016)

The fine-tuned calculation scheme and the compensation for sensor specific heat is described in this paper. It also contains an introduction to the Low-Density/Highly-Insulating measurement module:
On Power Variation in Self-Heated Thermal Sensors
Gustavsson, M., and Gustafsson, S.E.
Thermal Conductivity 27, pp. 338-346 (2005)


In the international standard ISO 22007-2, originally published in 2008 and updated in 2015, a detailed description on how to select points for calculation is found. In the appendix the full description of the Low-Density/Highly-Insulating measurement module is included:
ISO 22007-2

One-dimensional measurements and calculations are described in this publication:
“Dynamic plane-source technique for the study of the thermal transport properties of solids”
Karawacki, E., and Suleiman, B.M.
High Temp.-High Press. 23, 215- 223 (1991)


A theoretical explanation of the time window connection is presented in the following paper:
“Parameter estimations for measurements of thermal transport properties with the hot disk thermal constants analyzer”
Bohac, V., Gustavsson, M.K., Kubicar, L., and Gustafsson, S.E.
Rev. Sci. Instrum. 71 (6), 2452-2455 (2000)


How to stabilize calculations by locking the specific heat per unit volume is explained here:
“Thermal properties of lithium sulphate”
Suleiman, B.M., Gustavsson, M., Karawacki, E., and Lundén, A.
J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 30, 2553 (1997)


In this paper the Hot Disk technique is used to study thermal transport properties of wood:
“Thermal conductivity and diffusivity of wood”
B. M. Suleiman, J. Larfeldt, B. Leckner and M. Gustavsson
Wood Science and Technology (1999) 33: 465


Here the use of a Hot Disk device to analyse liquids is described. The article also discuss how the method can be used to monitor small structural changes in a compound:
“Thermal conductivity as an indicator of fat content in milk”
M. Gustavsson and Gustafsson, S.E.
Thermochimica Acta, Volume 442, Issues 1–2, 15 March 2006, Pages 1-5



About Hot Disk

Hot Disk AB was established in 1995, based on Dr. Silas E. Gustafsson’s research at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, during the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. Today this development continues at Hot Disk AB. Hot Disk AB, still based in Gothenburg, is an independent company dedicated solely to expanding the frontiers of testing and measuring thermal transport properties, with a genuine focus on quality and performance. Hot Disk AB and Hot Disk’s esteemed distribution network provides instruments on a global market, with more than 1000 units installed worldwide to date and the fields of use are too numerous to list here, but include space industry, car manufacturer, material science, semiconductor and electronics industry, civil engineering, quality control etc. In scientific journals, there are now hundreds upon hundreds of peer-reviewed papers utilizing the Hot Disk technique, high-lighting the excellent value the equipment continues to add to the field materials research.