Heat Transfer by Nichrome wire and Steel

• zwarrior
In summary, based on the information given, the driver will produce heat which will cause the temperature of the Nichrome wire to rise, and after 1 second, the temperature of the mild steel will also rise.
zwarrior
Hello all. I want to do some experiment but I thought I would go over this theoretically before trying out and now I have a doubt.

Homework Statement

1. I have a driver which produces say 600mA. I connect the driver to one end of Nichrome Wire. And the other end of Nichrome wire is in contact with A Mild Steel substance.
2. I want to know (my main doubts are) (a)-How much heat is generated in the Nichrome Wire due to the current in 1 second? (b) For 1 second, what will be the change in temperature at the mild steel due to the current produced by driver? (Assuming initial temperature= the room temperature .i.e 24C).
Now, I did a lot of research and came up with this. I want to know know whether I am heading in a right path. If not, I need help with this. I will simplify what I have done till now.

Homework Equations

• Joules law= H=(I^2)*R*t
• Specific Heat Capacity= Q=cp*m*dT
• time required to change temperature of object=t=(m*cp*dT)/H

The Attempt at a Solution

1. By Joules's law of heating, H=(I^2)*R * t. where I=600 mA, R of Nichrome wire is 2.196 ohms. Therefore heat emitted by Nichrome wire is H=0.79J for 1 second. DOUBTS - Is 0.79J of heat is there in the Nichrome wire in 1 second. And does it mean the heat present in Nichrome wire for 2 seconds is 0.79*2 ?
2. Temperature change in Nichrome wire dT= (h*t)/(Cp*m); where H=0.79J(from above answer);t=1 sec;Cp=specific heat capacity of nichrome=0.45 J/gC; mass=10 g. After evaluating, I get dT=0.175 C. So, for 1 second, temperature of Nichrome rises by 0.175 C ?
3. Now, I need temperature change in mild steel for one second. So, I used this formula, Time required to change temperature of mild steel=(m*Cp*dt)/H. H=0.79J (from point-1) Here, mass of mild steel=5 g; dt=0.175 C (from above answer); Specific heat capacity of mild steel= 0.51 J/gC. After evaluating, I get t=0.56 seconds. This means, for 0.5 seconds, temperature in steel changes by amount of 0.175 C. So, I need 3.36 seconds for 1 C change.
Note- I know that there will be many factors under consideration. For example, There will be loss of heat to environment. And resistance of Ni-wire change over temperature. But, can we try to predict the temperature change in mild steel assuming there is no loss and no changes in wire over time?

I know this is a big question and difficult to answer here. But any small help is appreciated as I am confused with this.

Last edited:
zwarrior said:
Nichrome wire for 2 seconds is 0.79*2 ?
Yes.
zwarrior said:
temperature of Nichrome rises by 0.175 C ?
Yes.
Heat capacities are additive. Recalculate "3."

Bystander said:
Yes.

Yes.
Heat capacities are additive. Recalculate "3."
Ok, so only 3rd part is wrong? I redid the calculations.
• I used the formula, q=m*c*dT. where m=5g, c=0.51 J/gC. dT=0.175C. I got q=0.446J. So, I need 0.446J to raise temperature of steel by 0.175 C. But I have 0.79J(from answer 1) available. By cross multiplication, the evaluation comes to 0.3C. So, I can raise the temperature of steel by 0.3 C for the incoming heat of 0.79J per second.
Is am sensing even this is wrong as this answer is similar to the previous one. Can you help me out with this one?

Bystander said:
I honestly can't think of any other way to do it. Should I change the formula or modify the answer with the same formula? Logically thinking, I think the formula is right but I have to add some other quantity to it? Sorry for bothering you again.

In parts 1) & 2) you were heating nichrome alone. What are you heating in part 3)?

Bystander said:
In parts 1) & 2) you were heating nichrome alone. What are you heating in part 3)?

Ok. Here, I am heating Steel. Need some clarification. Again got confused.
1. Heat will transfer from hot body to cold body till the cold body temperature=hot body temperature right? Now after 1 second, Nichrome will be at 0.175 C ( Assume initial temperature = 0 C for calculation convenience).
2. So, the hot body is Nichrome which is at 0.175 C and cold body is steel which is at 0 C. (Let us assume the transfer of heat starts after 1 second even though practically it will start before 1 second).
3. Now, heat will transfer till both the particles in contact are at same temperature. So, some amount of heat ( equivalent to 0.175 C) will be transferred to Steel in 0.56 seconds( from point 3 in main post ). So, at 1.56 seconds ( 1 second for Nichrome, 0.56 seconds for Steel), both particles are at 0.175 C.****** Now, won't there be any temperature change in both the particles as both are equally hot? ( But theoretically, temperature should increase in both as Heat is being accumulated at every instant ) If we do calculation like this, Steel will get to 1 C only after Nichrome goes to 1 C. i.e, at 6th second. Right?
• ****** -> But at 1.56 seconds, some amount of heat is added to the Nichrome from the Driver. So, it's temperature must have increased by 0.075 C(0.175/2) making it's total of 0.2625 after 1.5 seconds. So, now, again heat transfer takes place as both bodies are not at same temperature.
I am sorry. I think I have confused you with my questions.
Here is what I thought might happen...

TIME(s) --------------- NICHROME (C)--------------- STEEL (C)
0 ------------------------ 0 ------------------------------- 0
1 ----------------------- 0.175 -------------------------- 0
2 ----------------------- 0.3 -------------------------------- 0.3125
3 ----------------------- 0.525 --------------------------- 0.6125
4 ----------------------- 0.7 -------------------------------- 0.9375
5 ----------------------- 0.875 --------------------------- 1.25
6 ----------------------- 1.05 -----------------

Last edited:
Nichrome AND steel. Add the heat capacities.

Bystander said:
Nichrome AND steel. Add the heat capacities.
Ok. Hopefully this is right.

• t=(m*cp*dT)/H; where m is mass of steel=5; dT= 0.175 C; H=0.79 J; cp= 0.51+0.45=0.96 g J/g C
• So, t=(5*0.96*0.175)/0.79= 1.05s.
• To increase temperature by 0.175 C, steel takes 1 second. So, time taken by steel to raise temperature of 1 C=~6 seconds.

Is this also wrong?

zwarrior said:
Is this also wrong?
How much nichrome? How much steel? Why are you multiplying mass of steel by the sum of the two specific heats?

Bystander said:
How much nichrome? How much steel? Why are you multiplying mass of steel by the sum of the two specific heats?
You told me to add heat capacities. I mistook it as specific heat and added that and used it in the formula.
• So, Heat capacity formula is c=ΔQ/Δ T. where Δ Q is the amount of heat transferred, Δ T is the temperature difference. But, I can't add heat capacity of steel and nichrome because q is same for both and ΔT is common between thosetwo.
• Specific heat capacity of nichrome is 0.45 J/g C and of steel is 0.51J/g C. If I add both I will get 0.91 J/g C.
• Here, I have to take in account of both nichrome and steel because Heat is passing through the nichrome to get to steel. So, I have to consider nichrome too to get the value of steel. I can understand that. But I don't know what to add ?
• Can you tell me which formula to use and why to use that ?
• And what do you mean by- How much nichrome? How much steel?
• Or should I use this formula- Q = kA(THot−TCold)/d ?
I am sorry. I know, I am dragging this but I simply can't understand the last part.

What is the heat capacity (not specific heat) of 10 g of nichrome? What is the heat capacity of 5 g of steel? What is the sum of those two heat capacities?

Bystander said:
What is the heat capacity (not specific heat) of 10 g of nichrome? What is the heat capacity of 5 g of steel? What is the sum of those two heat capacities?
• Heat Capacity= mass * specific heat
• Nichrome- C=10 * 0.45= 4.5 J/C
• Steel- C=5 * 0.51= 2.55 J/C
• So, I will get 7.05 J/C ?

Yes.

Bystander said:
Yes.
• Now, I have to use it here- ? time= (C*dT)/H where C= 7.05J/C, dT=0.175 C, H=0.79 J. So, I will get time=1.56 seconds.
• So, 1.56 seconds needed for steel to increase temperature by 0.175 C. So, 9.36 seconds to increase temperature of steel by 1 C ?

zwarrior said:
time= (C*dT)/H
No.

You are mixing up the concepts of "power" (energy per unit time) and energy. Check Wiki, or some other source, and get those two ideas sorted out, then get back to this thread.

Bystander said:
No.

You are mixing up the concepts of "power" (energy per unit time) and energy. Check Wiki, or some other source, and get those two ideas sorted out, then get back to this thread.
I looked them up. My last attempt. Hopefully it's right.
• Power is rate of consuming Energy. (W)
• Energy tells quantity of work done. (J)
• Heat Capacity tells amount of heat required to change temperature of whole system by 1 C. Total heat capacity here is 7.05 J/C.
• But the heat available per second from Nichrome wire is 0.79J. Heat has to pass through Nichrome to get to steel. So, I need in total of 8.92 seconds to raise temperature by 1 C ?

Close enough.

Bystander said:
Close enough.
Oh ok. Thanks a lot. My last doubt ( An overview of this ) - more like a yes/no question.
• I supply 500mA of current from driver to Nichrome wire. So, because of this, heat generated in Nichrome wire is 0.79 J in 1 second. So, in 2 second 1.58 J.
• This heat is transferred to the Steel every second. ( every second means, practically, when Nichrome's temperature rises even a little bit more than steel's)
• So, in close to 9 seconds, the temperature of Steel rises by 1 C. And, in 18 seconds since the start period, temperature of Steel rises by 2 C and so on...

1. How does heat transfer occur in Nichrome wire and Steel?

Heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel occurs through conduction, where heat is transferred from one molecule to another through direct contact. In these materials, the heat is conducted through the movement of electrons.

2. What is the difference in heat transfer between Nichrome wire and Steel?

Nichrome wire has a higher electrical resistance compared to Steel, which means it will generate more heat when an electric current is passed through it. This leads to a faster and more efficient heat transfer in Nichrome wire compared to Steel.

3. How does the thickness of the wire affect heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel?

The thickness of the wire affects the heat transfer rate in both Nichrome wire and Steel. Thicker wires have a larger surface area, allowing for more heat to be transferred. This results in a faster heat transfer rate compared to thinner wires.

4. Can the length of the wire impact heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel?

Yes, the length of the wire can also affect heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel. Longer wires have a higher resistance, which can lead to a slower heat transfer rate compared to shorter wires.

5. What factors can affect the heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel?

Apart from the thickness and length of the wire, other factors that can affect heat transfer in Nichrome wire and Steel include the temperature difference between the two ends of the wire, the material's conductivity, and the surrounding environment's temperature and pressure.

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