Technical Brief

Method for Direct Measurement of On-Axis Carbon Fiber Thermal Diffusivity Using the Laser Flash Technique

[+] Author and Article Information
John D. Craddock

Center for Applied Energy Research,
University of Kentucky,
2540 Research Park Drive,
Lexington, KY 40511
e-mail: john.craddock@uky.edu

Jordan J. Burgess, Sarah E. Edrington, Matthew C. Weisenberger

Center for Applied Energy Research,
University of Kentucky,
2540 Research Park Drive,
Lexington, KY 40511

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received March 8, 2016; final manuscript received July 5, 2016; published online November 2, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Dr. Steve Q. Cai.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 9(1), 014502 (Nov 02, 2016) (3 pages) Paper No: TSEA-16-1058; doi: 10.1115/1.4034853 History: Received March 08, 2016; Revised July 05, 2016


Mechanical and thermal property values of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites are readily available. However, the small diameter and thermal anisotropy of the carbon filaments pose significant challenges for measuring thermal diffusivity of the constituent fibers. As a result, the literature describes many techniques to address this issue. Here, a new method for the direct, bulk measurement of on-axis thermal diffusivity of a matrix-free carbon fiber bundle is reported. Aligned carbon fiber tows were uniformly compacted into a collimated, cylindrical bundles using heat-shrink tubing, and fixed such that the fibers remained unwetted, in the center of an epoxy disk, which was subsequently analyzed for thermal diffusivity using laser flash analysis.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

L to R: collimated fibers in shrink wrap, Teflon tape sealed end, embedded in epoxy and cured, cut using diamond saw, and final specimen to be cut into wafers for LFA characterization

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

SEM images of LFA sample of IM7 fiber—(left) low-magnification view showing collimated fiber bundle in the center, with epoxy about the perimeter and (right) zoomed view showing aligned fibers

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

LFA on-axis thermal diffusivity at 25 °C under roughing and turbo vacuum of (left) intermediate modulus PAN-based IM7 and UKY spun PAN-based carbon fibers and (right) high-modulus mesophase pitch-based K100 and high-modulus PAN-based M55J carbon fibers




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