Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


First Advisor

Shivakumar, Kunigal


Thermal characterization of composite materials is important in the design of thermal systems, including applications such as aerospace, automotive, etc. These material properties are lacking in the literature and they need to be established considering the multidirectional behavior of the composite materials. Knowing multidirectional thermal properties of AS4/3501-6 composite laminate are essential in the engineering design and control process. By selecting the appropriate combination of matrix and reinforcement of material, designers have the ability to design and construct a material with specified properties. This research focuses on thermal conductivity characterization of AS4/3501-6 unidirectional composite material. The objective of this research is to determine axial and transverse thermal conductivity of AS4/3501-6 carbon/epoxy composite laminate by experiment and micro-mechanics models in literature. AS4/3501-6 unidirectional composite laminate was fabricated using autoclave process; two laminates were made, thick for axial and thin for transverse property testing. Flash method was used to measure the thermal diffusivity in axial and transverse directions of the fiber according to the ASTM E-1461 standard. Differential scanning calorimeter was used to measure the specific heat capacity of the laminate following ASTM E-1269 standard. Then the thermal conductivity was calculated by the product of specific heat, diffusivity and the material density. The properties were established at temperature range 20 °C to 100 °C. Test results were compared with micromechanics models and the literature data. The axial (k1) and transverse (k3) thermal conductivities at room temperature were 4.9 W/mK and 0.69 W/mK, respectively.