Date of Award


Document Type



Thermophysical properties of materials such as, thermal conductivity, diffusivity, and specific heat, are very important in engineering design process. For example, thermal conductivity plays a critical role in the performance of materials in high temperature applications and it is essential in the selection of materials when optimum performance is desired. Other thermophysical properties, such as thermal diffusivity and specific heat capacity, play significant roles in design application as they determine safe operating temperature, form process control characteristics, and quality conditions in manufacturing plants. The objective of this research was to determine the thermal properties of carbon composite materials. The materials of interest to this analysis were carbon-carbon and carbon-epoxy composites. The carbon-carbon composites tested were produced by the resin transfer molding process using T300 PAN based carbon fiber and PT-30 cyanate ester matrix. In contrast, the carbon-epoxy composite tested consisted of unidirectional continuous AS4 carbon fiber and 3501-6 amine cured epoxy resin. Following standard ASTM E1461, the flash method was used to measure the thermal diffusivity of the carbon composites. In addition, a differential scanning calorimeter was used in accordance with the ASTM E1269 standard to determine the specific heat. The thermal conductivity of the carbon composites was determined using the measured values of their thermal diffusivity and specific heat, respectively.