Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Kenneth Means.


Thermal conductivity of a polymer composite is a function of resin type, fiber type and architecture, fiber volume fraction, direction of heat flow, and service temperature. Recognizing the thermal responses in Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite decks play a critical role in their performance, accurate thermal measurements of FRP decks are essential.;The objective of the research is to attain better understanding of global and local thermal behavior of a composite structural system through fundamental understanding of thermal conductivity properties. The literature reveals that a major focus has been placed on measurements of thermal conductivity in through-the-thickness direction of a FRP composite. Therefore, current research focus has been on characterization of thermal conductivity in the planar direction (along the direction of fiber and transverse direction of fiber) of a composite laminate. The characterization has been carried out using 'Guarded heat flow meter method' in accordance with ASTM E 1530. The results obtained from this study are useful for the prediction of thermal conductivity of E-glass and Carbon fiber composites with vinyl ester.;Results showed that E-glass/Vinyl ester samples exhibited in-plane and through-the-thickness thermal conductivity of 0.35+/-0.05 W/m K. Thermal conductivity of Carbon/Vinyl ester composite is almost twice the conductivity in transverse and four times greater than through-the-thickness direction. Addition of 10 wt%, 12.5 wt% of graphite powder additive in neat vinyl ester resin increased the conductivity by nearly 88%, 170% respectively. The experimental values from this research correlated well with results from rule of mixtures in in-plane direction and also correlated with other theoretical methods. The results of this research would also be useful for in situ non-destructive testing of composite structures using Infrared thermography.