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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter October 9, 2021

Comparison of temperature mapping methods for experimental validation of numerical heat transfer analysis of biomaterials and medical devices

  • Sylvia Pfensig , Carsten Tautorat , Swen Grossmann , Niels Grabow , Klaus-Peter Schmitz and Stefan Siewert


Titanium represents an important biomaterial for implantable medical devices. During medical device manufacturing by means of welding, implant structures are partially exposed to high temperatures. Additionally, active implants such as pacemakers can heat up during operation. Therefore, numerical studies of heat propagation within titanium structures represent an essential tool to assess functionality and safety of medical devices. The current study focusses on the development of a method for experimental validation of numerical heat transfer analysis of biomaterials such as titanium. Numerical heat transfer analysis was performed using the software Abaqus. A finite-element model was established including material properties such as density, thermal conductivity und specific heat capacity. Temperature distribution among a locally applied thermal load was calculated. Furthermore, effects such as convection were considered. For validation, an experimental setup was implemented according to the numerical calculation using a local heating tool. Heat propagation in the sample was determined, respectively. Radiation-based heat determination was performed using an infrared thermographic camera aligned parallel to the sample surface. Contact-based heat determination was performed using thermocouples fixed to the surface at defined distances from the point of local heat input. For evaluation of numerical and experimental results, temperature- time curves were compared for five distinct measuring points, respectively. While infrared thermography offers the advantage of non-contact measurements, difficulties may arise from the definition of correct emissivity and challenging sample surface characteristics, such as metallic reflectance and surface texture. The thermocouple-based temperature measurement shows a high sensitivity to local temperature changes, but it is not always suitable due to the influence on the sample by thermocouple fixation. Infrared thermography and thermocouple based temperature measurements represent suitable procedures for experimental validation of numerical heat transfer analysis of titanium. An individual decision for the most suitable method must be made considering the specific sample and its further application.

Published Online: 2021-10-09
Published in Print: 2021-10-01

© 2021 The Author(s), published by Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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