Impact of torsion and stretching on the thermal conductivity of polyethylene strands

RC Tu and QW Liao and LP Zeng and ZC Liu and W Liu, APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS, 110, 101905 (2017).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4978206

A single polyethylene chain was reported to have a high metal-like thermal conductivity (TC), which stands in sharp contrast to the thermally insulating feature of common bulk polyethylene materials. This work numerically investigates the impact of torsion and stretching on the TC of polyethylene strands by using equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. The simulation results show that torsion slightly reduces the TC of a single polyethylene chain. In contrast, the heat conduction of polyethylene strands could be slightly enhanced under torsional loading with a specific torsional angle. Particularly, an apparent improvement of TC of polyethylene strands is achieved by combining torsion and stretching functions. It is found that the TC of torsional polyethylene strands is sensitive to torsional patterns. Our study proposes a specific torsional pattern of polyethylene strands that significantly enhances the heat conduction of the original counterpart. This study will play an essential role in guiding the improvements of thermal conduction property of polymers. (C) 2017 Author(s).

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