This paper presents a novel experimental technique, which combines thermochromic liquid crystals with multiple steps in gas temperature, to determine heat transfer coefficient and adiabatic wall temperature distributions. The transient heat transfer experiments have been conducted on a flat plate using the low-temperature analogue of an ISO standard propane-air burner commonly used in aero-engine fire certification. The technique involves the measurement of the surface temperature response of an insulating model to a change in gas temperature. A coating comprising more than one thermochromic liquid crystal material is used to increase the range of the surface measurement and this is combined with multiple step changes in gas temperature. These measures induce several peaks in liquid crystal intensity throughout the transient experiment and these are shown to improve the accuracy. The current technique employs useful data from both the heating and cooling phases in the heat transfer test. To the authors’ knowledge, this has not been investigated before and it is likely to be very useful for other applications of the liquid crystal transient heat transfer experiment. The uncertainties in all measurements have been quantified and are presented in this paper.

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