This paper describes the application of inverse analysis to estimate the thermal conductivity of a porous material using temperature measurements at the surfaces. Finite volume analysis code is utilized to solve the steady state axisymmetric heat transfer governing energy equation. The analysis code is coupled with a numerical optimization method and is utilized to predict thermal conductivity constant using the measurements. An experimental setup was developed to test a porous media composed of a mixture of small pellets and air. Semi Analytic Complex Variable Method (SACVM) is used to determine the sensitivity of the predicted material properties on the error in temperature measurements. Temperature obtained from experiments, is used as input to inverse method. The objective function is minimization of least squares error between measured experimental and predicted temperatures. Conjugate Gradient Method (CGM) is used to solve the resulting problem. Accurate sensitivities for the CGM were computed by SACVM. Material properties predicted from this method show close agreement with literature.

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