Research Papers: Experimental Techniques

Thermal Conductivity Measurements of Nylon 11-Carbon Nanofiber Nanocomposites

[+] Author and Article Information
Arden L. Moore, Antonette T. Cummings, Justin M. Jensen, Li Shi, Joseph H. Koo

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712

J. Heat Transfer 131(9), 091602 (Jun 24, 2009) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3139110 History: Received July 21, 2008; Revised April 07, 2009; Published June 24, 2009

Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were incorporated into nylon 11 to form nylon 11-carbon nanofiber nanocomposites via twin screw extrusion. Injection molding has been employed to fabricate specimens that possess enhanced mechanical strength and fire retardancy. The thermal conductivity of these polymer nanocomposites was measured using a guarded hot plate method. The measurement results show that the room temperature thermal conductivity increases with the CNF loading from 0.24±0.01W/mK for pure Nylon 11 to 0.30±0.02W/mK at 7.5wt% CNF loading. The effective medium theory has been used to determine the interface thermal resistance between the CNFs and the matrix to be in the range of 2.55.0×106m2K/W from the measured thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Photographs of (a) injection molded pure nylon 11 and (b) nylon nanocomposites with 5% CNF loading

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Figure 2

Transmission electron micrograph of an injection molded 5 wt % nylon 11-CNF nanocomposite

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Figure 3

(a) Schematic of guarded hot plate method for thermal conductivity measurement. Four thermocouples (TCs) are used to measure temperature at four locations, and an average temperature difference across the two identical samples is used for obtaining the thermal conductivity. Thermal insulation surrounding the setup is not shown. (b) Photograph of the measurement setup with insulation and radiation shielding partly removed. (c) Measured electrical power input (Q) to the heater as a function of average measured temperature drop (ΔT) across the sample.

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Figure 4

Thermal conductivity of injection molded nylon 11-CNF nanocomposite as a function of the weight fraction of the CNFs for the cross-plane direction at room temperature.

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Figure 5

Model prediction for the (a) 1 wt %, (b) 3 wt %, (c) 5 wt %, and (d) 7.5 wt % CNF blends of injection molded parts in the cross-plane direction at room temperature. Each curve corresponds to a different value for the CNF thermal conductivity kC. The straight gray line is the experimentally measured thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite.



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