Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

This work investigates the use of two different polyols, xylitol (Xyl) and erythritol (Ery), in conjunction with boron nitride (BN) aerogels, for the purpose of creating thermally conductive composites. While the BN filler in Xyl composites achieved a high anisotropic thermal conductivity of up to 4.53 W/m-K at 18.2 weight percent filler loading, they do not exhibit good phase-change material qualities due to a low solidification enthalpy even at low cooling rates. Alternatively, the BN-Ery composites have shown promising results with a solidification enthalpy of 225.14 J/g and a melting enthalpy of 385.84 J/g at a heat rate of 5 °C/min. These samples, however, have so far exhibited lower thermal conductivity values as high as 2.73 W/m-K at 15.5 weight percent filler loading. In these samples, the boron nitride scaffolds show good anisotropic heat transfer due to the use of ice-template method. However, since the polyol crystals radiate from the BN pillars, they cause the composite to have isotropic overall heat transfer.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Jiahua Zhu

First Reader

Dr. Harry Michael Cheung

Second Reader

Dr. Edward Evans

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