Thermal transport phenomena in porous media are characterized by conduction through solid matrix and filling gas, and also by radiation. The gas is dispersed in the porous system depending on the pore size distribution. In each pore, the gas contributes to the heat transfer between the pore surfaces. This effect is strongly influenced by pore size, gas atmosphere, accommodation coefficient and other factors. A recent publication of the present authors focused on modeling the change of the effective thermal conductivity when the gas atmosphere is changed. In the current contribution, the effect of pore size distribution on heat transfer in macro, micro, and nano insulation materials is presented. Samples were chosen from five different highly porous materials with different pore size distribution within the macro, micro, and nano classes. Porosity and pore size distribution of the samples were chosen to get a clear characterization of the materials. The effective thermal conductivity was measured by applying the radial heat flow method at temperatures up to 1000 °C. Evaluating Knudsen effect from the pore size distribution alone does not give plausible explanation for the measured thermal conductivity. However, it is important to consider the kind of connections between the pores. In case of nano materials, the radiation effect proves to be strongly dependent on the Knudsen number.

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