Analysis of Thermal Conductivity in Composite Adhesives

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Title: Analysis of Thermal Conductivity in Composite Adhesives
Author: Bihari, Kathleen L.
Advisors: H. T. Banks, Chair
K. Ito, Member
H. T. Tran, Member
J.-P. Fouque, Member
Abstract: Thermally conductive composite adhesives are desirable in many industrial applications, including computers, microelectronics, machinery and appliances. These composite adhesives are formed when a filler particle of high conductivity is added to a base adhesive. Typically, adhesives are poor thermal conductors. Experimentally only small improvements in the thermal properties of the composite adhesives over the base adhesives have been observed. A thorough understanding of heat transfer through a composite adhesive would aid in the design of a thermally conductive composite adhesive that has the desired thermal properties.In this work, we study design methodologies for thermally conductive composite adhesives. We present a three dimensional model for heat transfer through a composite adhesive based on its composition and on the experimental method for measuring its thermal properties. For proof of concept, we reduce our model to a two dimensional model. We present numerical solutions to our two dimensional model based on a composite silicone and investigate the effect of the particle geometry on the heat flow through this composite. We also present homogenization theory as a tool for computing the "effective thermal conductivity" of a composite material.We prove existence, uniqueness and continuous dependence theorems for our two dimensional model. We formulate a parameter estimation problem for the two dimensional model and present numerical results. We first estimate the thermal conductivity parameters as constants, and then use a probability based approach to estimate the parameters as realizations of random variables. A theoretical framework for the probability based approach is outlined.Based on the results of the parameter estimation problem, we are led to formally derive sensitivity equations for our system. We investigate the sensitivity of our composite silicone with respect to the thermal conductivity of both the base silicone polymer and the filler particles. Numerical results of this investigation are also presented.
Date: 2001-08-08
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Applied Mathematics

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