ISO 22007-4:2008 specifies a method for the determination of the thermal diffusivity of a thin solid disc of plastics in the thickness direction by the laser flash method. This method is based upon the measurement of the temperature rise at the rear face of the thin-disc specimen produced by a short energy pulse on the front face.
The method can be used for homogeneous solid plastics as well as composites having an isotropic or orthotropic structure. In general, it covers materials having a thermal diffusivity, α, in the range 1 x 10-7 m2s-1 < α < 1 x 10-4 m2s-1. Measurements can be carried out in gaseous and vacuum environments over a temperature range from -100 °C to +400 °C.
For inhomogeneous specimens, the measured values may be specimen thickness dependent.