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Experimental analysis of heat conduction in UPR-alumina nano-composites
Debora C. Moreira, Leandro A. Sphaier, João M. L. Reis and Luiz Carlos S. Nunes

This paper presents an experimental analysis of the thermal conductivity of nano-composite systems composed of an unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) and alumina particles having 30–40 nanometers. Samples are fabricated using simple molding and a magnetic stirrer for homogenizing the particles in the mixture before polymerizing. The thermal conductivity is directly measured using a dedicated conductivity meter. Measurements are taken at different temperatures (from 0º to 50ºC), for different sets of samples, varying the fraction of nano-particles up to 15% in volume. An augmentation of over 100% was seen for samples loaded with the maximum tested volume fraction, when compared to neat polymer samples. In addition, the measurements show a small deviation between samples from the same set, and indicate that there is a minor dependence of the thermal conductivity in temperature. Finally, the thermal conductivity measurements are compared with models for predicting the thermal conductivity of composite materials with nano-particles, showing that the obtained results are over the values estimated by these models.

Keywords: Unsaturated Polyester, Metal Oxide, Composite, Nanoparticle, Heat Conduction, Polymer.

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