Specific heat capacity, specific thermal capacity, or volumetric heat capacity
The specific heat capacity of a material is defined as the amount energy (in the form of heat) required to raise one kilogram (kg) of the material by one degree Kelvin (K), without undergoing a phase change (e.g. solid to gas) of the material. It is expressed in units of joule per kelvin per kilogram (J/K/kg).
The volumetric heat capacity (VHC) of a material is defined as the amount of energy (in the form of heat) required to raise one cubic meter of the material by one degree Kelvin, without undergoing a phase change of the material. It is expressed in units of joule per kelvin per cubic meter (J/K/m3).
The specific heat value of a material can be converted to the VHC of the material by multiplying the specific heat by the density of the material.
A high heat capacity value of one material indicates it will take more energy to raise the temperature of that material versus a material with a lower value. Generally, metallic alloys have lower specific heat values versus ceramics, and ceramics have lower specific values versus polymers.
As a thermal insulator, high specific heat values are desired. As a heating element, a low specific heat value would be preferred.
|Specific heat (J/kg-K)
at room temperature
|PEEK (unfilled) polymer||2160|
|Polyimide SP-1 polymer||1130|
|Aluminium Silicate (porous)||800-900|
|316L Stainless Steel||500|