Thermal conductivity of porous building materials: An exploration of new challenges in fractal modelling solutions


  • Giorgio Pia Università degli Studi di Cagliari
  • Marta Cappai Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Chimica e dei Materiali, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Piazza d’Armi, 09123 Cagliari, Italy



Fractal geometry, heat transfer, modelling, porous building materials, thermal conductivity


The improvement in the insulation material performance is one of the recent crucial problems. The energy consumption in the construction and buildings field has a significant impact on the society and the environment. For these reasons, researchers have focused on studying their thermal behaviour in order to improve fabrication methods and material design structures. In this sense, a great contribution has been offered by the modeling procedures. A remarkable attention has been dedicated to the application of fractal geometry which seems to be a promising method to replicate the porous structures as well as to predict the effective thermal conductivity. In this paper, a review of different modeling procedures is presented, comparing both traditional and fractal theory-based approaches. Fractal models demonstrate high reliability in reproducing experimental data under various conditions, including dry and moist systems. This is further enhanced by the application of recursive formulas, which streamline calculations even for complex porous microstructures. The choice between one model and another depends on the specific characteristics of the materials under study. In all cases, the versatility of the analytical procedures enables one to achieve a remarkable agreement with experimental data.




How to Cite

Pia, G.; Cappai, M. Thermal Conductivity of Porous Building Materials: An Exploration of New Challenges in Fractal Modelling Solutions. RILEM Tech Lett 2023, 8, 79-93.