Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Polymers
Polymers are a unique field of science with application in many industries. Polymers can be found as components for such things as electronics, explosives, household items, thermoelectrics, insulation, packaging and many others. Researchers in the polymer sector are constantly improving these materials to not only better their thermophysical properties but also their density, strength and mechanical properties.
Thermal conductivity plays a key role in the development of these polymers. Researchers experiment with various composite additives in polymers in order to either increase or decrease the thermal conductivity of the material. Researchers in the packaging industry may seek lower thermal conductivity polymers in order to create more insulative packaging materials. Whereas researchers in the electronics industry may experiment with composites to increase thermal conductivity values in order to prevent overheating in the electronic systems.
The C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer provides the optimal solution for measuring Polymers & Composites as it is the only commercial instrument that offers the versatility to test the thermal conductivity of solids, liquids, powders, pastes, and textiles.
C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer
Case Highlight #1:
Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Anisotropic or Oriented Samples
C-Therm’s TCi thermal conductivity measurement is based on the modified transient plane source (MTPS) technique. The MTPS method provides a fast, highly-accurate, and easy way to measure the thermal conductivity of both isotropic and anisotropic samples. For this reason it has become a very popular tool for rapid quality control in the manufacturing of conductive polymers with oriented glass fibres and other fillers for improved heat transport.
With C-Therm's patented one-sided sensor, clients enjoy the added benefit of not having to mock up specific samples for thermal conductivity testing. The only requirement is to cover the active 18-mm diameter surface area of the sensor. The figure below illustrates the testing of tensile bars. The bars were described as a polymer resin with carbon fibres heavily oriented in the in-plane direction, and were already produced for testing the tensile strength of the material. The grip section provided sufficient contact area for the through-plane thermal conductivity measurement. The limited 4mm thickness of the bars required multiple samples to be clamped together for the in-plane measurement. In being able to use tensile bars for testing both the through-plane and in-plane thermal conductivity, this saves the client time and money in ensuring the product is meeting the critical performance attributes for heat transport.
|Thermal Conductivity (W/mK)||1.32||2.587|
Case Highlight #2:
Investigation of Expandable Polymeric Microspheres for Packaging Applications
This case highlight investigates the feasibility of incorporating expandable polymeric microspheres into polyolefin films for food packaging application. There is also a focus on the ability of the microsphere-loaded film to reduce the weight of the packaging materials and to improve their thermal insulation, mechanical, and barrier properties.
The graph below features the thermal conductivity data acquired using the TCi. Both their thermal conductivity and thermal effusivity of the multilayer HDPE microsphere films decreased with increasing microsphere loading levels. The addition of 1% microsphere loading resulted in an 80% decrease in thermal conductivity. Overall, with the addition of up to 5% microsphere loading it was found that the polyolefin films would be lighter for ration packaging, would reduce cost through the use of less resin to produce the same thickness of film and could improve the thermal insulation for the pouches.
Case Highlight #3:
Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of a Polymer Melt by Transient Line Source (TLS) Technique
Measuring Thermal Conductivity of Conductive Plastics
Recent Advancements in Test Instrumentation for Polymers & Rubbers
Investigation of Expandable Polymeric Microspheres for Packaging Application
Synergistic Effect of Selectively Distributed AIN NWCNT Hybrid Fillers on Morphological Mechanical
The Thermal Conductivity of Unfilled Plastics
Transient Line Source (TLS) Application Highlight: Measuring Thermal Conductivity of a Polymer Melt
Using the Thermal Conductivity in the Design of Thermoplastic Composites
Measuring Anisotropic or Oriented Samples by Modified Transient Plane Source (MTPS) Technique
All-Natural Sustainable Packaging Materials Inspired by Plant Cuticles
Multi-Response Optimization of Polymer Blended Concrete - A TOPSIS Based Taguchi Application
CFD Simulation and Experimental Validation of Ethanol Adsorption onto Carbon Packed Heat Exchanger
Paving the Thermal Highway with Self-Organized Nanocrystals in Transparent Polymer Composites
Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Sustainable Lightweight Strain Hardening Geopolymer Composites
Massive Enhancement in the Thermal Conductivity of Polymer Composites by Trapping Graphene
Conducting Polymer/Carbon Particle Thermoelectric Composites: Emerging Green Energy Materials
Synergistic thermal conductivity enhancement of PC/ABS composites containing alumina/magnesia/graphe
Synergistic improvement of thermal transport properties for thermoplastic composites
Source:Schirmer Cheney, S., Thellen, C., & Ratto, J. (2012). Investigation of Expandable Polymeric Microspheres for Packaging Application. US Army Natick Soldier R&D Center.