Mechanical Engineering College of Engineering 

MNE MS Thesis Defense of Christopher D. Lake

Date(s): 2/13/2013 3:00 PM - 2/13/20135:00 PM
Location: Textile Building, Room 101E Conference Room
Contact: Dr. John Rice 508-999-8498
Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering Department is pleased to announce the MS THESIS DEFENSE of Mr. CHRISTOPHER D. LAKE on February 13, 2013 from 3-5pm in the Textile 101E Conference Room.

Thesis ADVISOR: Dr. John Rice

Thesis COMMITTEE: Dr. John Rice, Dr. Sankha Bhowmick, Dr. Yong Kim

TOPIC: "Improving the Thermal Conductivity of Organic Polymer Laminar Composites Using Long Z-Axis Flocked Carbon Fiber"


Organic polymer laminar composites consisting of carbon fabric plys set within an epoxy matrix have historically exhibited poor thermal conductivity in the through thickness Z-direction. Carbon fibers are known to exhibit elevated thermal conductivities in the axial direction along the length of the fiber, in comparison to the transverse direction across the cross section of the fiber.

Tests were conducted to show thermal conductivity improvements in carbon fabric laminates using interfacial Z-axis orientation of carbon fiber by the electrostatic flocking method. The purpose of this study was to quantify the through-thickness thermal conductivity improvements in laminar composites. Reported results clearly illustrate that significant thermal conductivity improvements are possible using this Z-Axis flocking carbon fiber placement technology. The degree of thermal conductivity improvement was found to be directly proportional to the flock density of the interfacially deposited carbon flock fibers. Through thickness thermal conductivity values were increased 87% to a magnitude of 1.99 W/mK over the base control value of 1.064 W/mK.

Finite element analysis of the interfacially flocked laminar composites with 1mm cut length P-120 carbon flock fibers indicates a maximum attainable through thickness thermal conductivity value of 5 W/mK . Analysis of the finite element model at the highest experimentally obtained flock density value of 747 f/sqmm allows for the prediction that the average interfacial flock fiber orientation angle in the XY plane is 76.5 degrees.


For more information please contact Dr. John Rice at 508-999-8498,

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