Characterizing the Performance of Nano Composites

Nanomaterials are an exciting area of material science research and engineering. An individual carbon nanotube has an estimated thermal conductivity of 3,000 to 5,000 W/mK! Compare this to one of the highest thermal conductivity metals; copper has a thermal conductivity of a mere 400 W/mK in contrast.   It is thus with good reason that researchers are focussed on trying to harness this potential in leveraging the extremely high thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes in composites.  The potential is evident to greatly enhance the ability of the composite to dissipate heat.  Application areas are diverse, with a strong pull from the electronics and aerospace industries for materials that are electrically isolative, but increasingly higher in thermal conductivity. 

The webinar will review related application areas of the TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer in assisting with the performance characterization of such nano composites. 

In highlighting recent published work from C-Therm clients – we will review research from around the globe, starting in South Korea.  Researchers from Gachon University working with researchers in the USA from UCLA’s Dept of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering investigated performance of different composite fabrication methods.  High concentrations (1.1-3.7 wt%) of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were incorporated into carbon fiber (CF)-reinforced epoxy composites. A mat-like form of CNT (CNT mat) was inserted between plies of CF plain-weave fabric and the composite was processed by vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM). Two similar CNT structures, CNT mat and buckypaper, were inserted between CF woven prepreg laminates and the corresponding CF prepreg composites were fabricated by curing either in an autoclave or in a hot press. For the final method, CNTs were directly grown onto CF plain weave fabric and hierarchical composites were fabricated from those CNT-CF fabrics by the VARTM method.  The fabricated composites were characterized for their improved thermal conductivity.

In addition, previous published nano-related works will be reviewed from Texas Tech and Florida StateUniversities on improving the dispersion of single-walled carbon nanotubes for greater thermal conductivity via physical and chemical treatments of the SWCNTs.

Finally, the webinar will conclude in reviewing works from the School of Materials and Mineral Resources Engineering at the Universiti Sains Malaysia employing the TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer.  Researchers in Malaysia worked with surface-functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) for improved thermal conductivity of poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS).

The webinar will be of particular interest to any material engineers or scientists in the field of nano materials.


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