Thermal Conductivity

Thermal conductivity refers to the amount/speed of heat transmitted through a material.  Heat transfer occurs at a higher rate across materials of high thermal conductivity than those of low thermal conductivity. Materials of high thermal conductivity are widely used in heat sink applications and materials of low thermal conductivity are used as thermal insulation. Thermal conductivity of materials is temperature dependent. Metals with high thermal conductivity, e.g. copper, exhibit high electrical conductivity. The heat generated in high thermal conductivity materials is rapidly conducted away from the region of the weld. For metallic materials, the electrical and thermal conductivity correlate positively, i.e. materials with high electrical conductivity (low electrical resistance) exhibit high thermal conductivity.

The reciprocal of thermal conductivity is called thermal resistivity.

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