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research-article

Decreased Thermal Conductivity of Polyethylene Chain Influenced by Short Chain Branching

[+] Author and Article Information
Danchen Luo

School of Electrical and Power Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2536171044@qq.com

Congliang Huang

School of Electrical and Power Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China; Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0427, USA
huangcl@cumt.edu.cn

Zun Huang

School of Electrical and Power Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
cumthuangzun@163.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038003 History: Received December 30, 2016; Revised July 26, 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we have studied the effect of short branches (side chains) on the thermal conductivity of a polyethylene (PE) chain. With a reverse non-equilibrium molecular dynamic method, thermal conductivities of the pristine PE chain and the PE-ethyl chain are simulated and compared. It shows that the branch has a positive effect to decrease the thermal conductivity of a PE chain. The thermal conductivity of the PE-ethyl chain decreases with the number density increase of branches, until the density becomes larger than about 8 ethyl per 200 segments, where the thermal conductivity saturates to be only about 40% that of a pristine PE chain. Because of different weights, different branches will cause a different decrease of thermal conductivities, and a heavy branch will leads to a lower thermal conductivity than a light one. This study is expected to provide some fundamental guidance to obtain a polymer with a low thermal conductivity.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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