Multiscale modelling of thermal conductivity of carbon nanotube paraffin nanocomposites

A Vahedi and MHS Lahidjani and S Shakhesi, MATERIALS RESEARCH EXPRESS, 5, 115026 (2018).

DOI: 10.1088/2053-1591/aade72

Paraffin waxes can store large amount of heat according to their high heat capacity, which is a high quality property to address some fundamental concerns in technology, like the thermal management of rechargeable batteries. The thermal conductivity of paraffin is rather low, which can be improved by changing their chemical composition or by adding additional components. In this regard, one solution is to fabricate nanocomposites structures through adding nanofillers to paraffin. Carbon based nanostructures such as carbon nanotubes offer among the highest thermal conductivities available in the nature. Therefore, they could be considered as the best candidates to enhance the heat conduction of paraffin. In this study we developed multiscale modelling to investigate the thermal conductivity of CNT/paraffin nanocomposites using a combination of atomistic and continuum approaches. For this purpose, molecular dynamics simulations were carried out for the assessment of the thermal conductance between the CNT and paraffin at nanoscale. We evaluated the thermal conductivity of CNT/paraffin by the means of finite element method. We finally studied the effects of volume fraction and geometric parameters of fillers on the effective thermal conductivity of CNT/paraffin nanocomposites. Our findings in this study provide good vision regarding managing the thermal conduction in CNT/paraffin nanocomposite.

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