Technical Brief

An analytical and numerical estimation of the effective thermal conductivity of complex metal frame core structures

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaohui Bai

Graduate School of Science and Technology, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, 432-8561 Japan

Akira Nakayama

Faculty of Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1 Johoku, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, 432-8561 Japan; School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, Hubei 430023, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041957 History: Received October 15, 2018; Revised November 05, 2018


An analytical and numerical study was conducted for estimation of the effective thermal conductivities of curved metal frame core structures, which can replace metal foams, in views of their advantages over the metal foams for both load bearing and heat dissipation. The trajectory of the frame ligament and its cross-sectional area were allowed to vary arbitrarily in the three-dimensional space. The analytical formula obtained by extending the formula previously proposed by Bai et al. was examined by comparing it with the numerical results directly obtained from full 3D numerical computations. An air layer partially filled with a collection of coiled circular rods was treated both analytically and numerically. Furthermore, the effect of lattice nodes on the effective thermal conductivity was investigated by introducing an analytical model with the lattice ligaments merging together at one nodal point. The analytical expressions thus derived for the lattice structures with nodes, were applied to tetrahedral structure, pyramidal structure and octet-truss structure to find their effective thermal conductivities, which are found to agree closely with the 3D numerical results. Thus, the present analytical expressions can be used to customize the structure to meet its desired thermal performance.

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