Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Majid Jaraiedi.


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. A major focus has been placed on measurements of thermal conductivity in through-the thickness direction of a FRP composite.;Current research focus has been on characterization of thermal conductivity in the planar direction (along the direction of the fiber and transverse direction of the fiber) of a composite laminate. Thermal conductivity characterization in three dimensions has been carried out for carbon fiber reinforced vinyl ester systems. The results have revealed that the bonding between the layers of fabric depends on the type and property of the resin associated with that fabric. The characterization has been carried out using 'Guarded heat flow meter method' in accordance with ASTM E1530. Some of the composite samples were selected and exposed to thermal weathering to study the effects of multi-cycle thermal history. This enabled us to characterize thermal conductivity as a function of weathering time for a range of composite samples including carbon fiber/vinyl ester composites manufactured through pultrusion and resin infusion processes, resin infused carbon fiber/epoxy composite, and pultruded GFRP bridge deck samples. Also, the amount of thermal compound applied was found to affect the thermal conductivity.;Most neat resins, including thermoplastics and thermosets are electrical insulators. However, conductive additives or fillers can be added into resins to produce electrically conductive resins and composite materials. At a specific concentration of conductive filler, electro conductive channels are formed and the insulators are turned into semi-conductors. This transformation process can be described within the framework of the percolation theory. Constructed Facilities Center (CFC)-West Virginia University (WVU) has developed a smart material system by adding nanomaterials to neat resins to produce conductive composite sensors. Statistical Analysis of the experimental data obtained for thermal conductivity, sensor and wearing surface have been evaluated.