What is W/mK?

W/mk is a property of materials and stands for watts per meter kelvin. It represents the heat conduction property of the material and specifies the rate of heat transfer. Heat energy is transferred more quickly between materials with high thermal conductivity.

First Published :


What is W/mk?

The thermal conductivity coefficient k is represented as W/mK. If a material has a k-value of 1, it implies that for each degree of the temperature gradient between opposing sides of a substance, a 1 m cube of that material will transfer heat at a rate of 1 watt. A material will transfer less heat if the k-value is lower than 1. 

A material with high W/mK is known as a good heat conductor whereas a low W/mK material is a good heat insulator. Generally, a material is considered better if it has a low thermal conductivity because it transfers less heat energy. Unlike other physical qualities, thermal conductivity depends on many other factors; hence, the thermal conductivity of the same material can change under various environments. This comprises the material structure, temperature, humidity, density, pressure, ageing and phase. 

Video 01: Thermal Conductivity

Common Uses of W/mK value

  • Materials with high W/mK values are widely used in heat sink applications and with low W/mK values are used as thermal insulators.

Advantages of W/mK 

  • A low W/mK material is advantageous for use as thermal insulation of building structures.
  • Energy efficient devices can be fabricated.

Limitations of W/mK

  • Temperature variations may result in errors.
  • Impurities in the material may cause non-uniform heat flow and error in the value of W/mK.

Industrial applications of W/mK

  • Heat sink applications.
  • Building temperature insulation.
  • Automotive and Electric Vehicles
  • Conductive polymers and phase change materials
  • Additive manufacturing

Need help or have a question?
Case Study In-depth examination of genuine material testing solutions
Dopant and ultra-low concentration elemental analysis using Scanning…

EELS analysis of gate and channel is performed on fin field-effect transistors (finFETs). Scanning transmission electron…

Learn More
Analysis of degradation of PVC pipe using Fourier…

FTIR analysis is used to study the migration and leaching of phthalate plasticizers from p-PVCs. Phthalate…

Learn More
Nano-scale roughness measurement of Si-wafers by Atomic Force…

Nano-scale surface roughness is a critical parameter in fabricated thin-films that are used in optics, solar…

Learn More
See all Case Study

Looking for Material Testing?

We have already delivered 10000+ Material Test results to top companies

    Free Consultation? - Talk to our experts

    (888) 878-3090

    ddd Just share your testing requirements and leave the rest on us!
    • Quick Turnaround and Hasslefree process
    • Confidentiality Guarantee
    • Free, No-obligation Consultation
    • 100% Customer Satisfaction