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RESEARCH PAPERS: Porous Media

Modeling of Heat Transfer in Low-Density EPS Foams

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Coquard

 Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB), 24 rue Joseph Fourier, 38400 Saint Martin d’Hères, Francer.coquard@cstb.fr

D. Baillis

 Centre Thermique de Lyon (CETHIL), UMR CNRS 5008, Domaine Scientifique de la Doua, INSA de Lyon, Bâtiment Sadi Carnot, 9 rue de la physique, 69621 Villeurbanne CEDEX, Francedominique.baillis@insa-lyon.fr

J. Heat Transfer 128(6), 538-549 (Nov 04, 2005) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2188464 History: Received March 21, 2005; Revised November 04, 2005

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) foams are one of the most widely used thermal insulators in the building industry. Owing to their very low density, both conductive and radiative heat transfers are significant. However, only few studies have already been conducted in the modeling of heat transfer in this kind of medium. This is due to their complex porous structure characterized by a double-scale porosity which has always been ignored by the previous works. In this study, we present a model of one-dimensional steady state heat transfer in these foams based on a numerical resolution of the radiation-conduction coupling. The modeling of the conductive and radiative properties of the foams takes into account their structural characteristics such as foam density or cell diameter and permits us to study the evolution of their equivalent thermal conductivity with these characteristics. The theoretical results have been compared to equivalent thermal conductivity measurements made on several EPS foams using a flux-meter apparatus and show a good agreement.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

SEM photographs representing macro and microporosity of EPS foams

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Figure 2

Illustration of the morphology of dodecahedric cells

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Figure 3

Illustration of the interaction of a plane wave with a pentagonal window

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Figure 4

Variation of the refractive index of polystyrene with the I/R radiation wavelength

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Figure 5

Evolution of the extinction coefficient and scattering albedo with the radiation wavelength for different cellular medium with Dcell=200μm

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Figure 6

Principle of the method computing the radiative properties of the arrangement of EPS beads

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Figure 7

Evolution of the equivalent conductivity with the density for different mean cell diameter

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Figure 8

Evolution of the equivalent conductivity with the mean cell diameter for different densities

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Figure 9

Evolution of the equivalent conductivity with the mean bead diameter

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Figure 10

Evolution of the equivalent conductivity with the interbead porosity

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Figure 11

Evolution of the theoretical and experimental equivalent conductivities with the foam density

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