Microvascular heat transfer analysis in carbon fiber composite materials

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Chemical Engineering


Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


Advisor: Kevin J. Myers


Inclusion of a microvascular network of stainless steel tubes into a quasi-isotropic composite laminate constructed of IM7/977-2 prepreg processed under standard autoclave techniques has been accomplished. In addition, a technique was developed to create unlined microvascular channels under the same processing conditions. The focus of this study was to examine the heat transfer properties when a heat transfer fluid flowed through the network. Mode I mechanical testing showed no mechanical penalty for adding microvascular channels to the material. A multiple tube network yielded cooling capabilities up to 3 kW/m2. A two-dimensional, analytic fit and boundary condition modification were used to determine the bottlenecks for the heat transfer in the hybrid system. It was determined that three-fourths of the total resistance to heat transfer is due to the effects of surface heat transfer and conduction through the panel. There was negligible difference in the heat transfer behavior of the channels created by stainless steel tubes compared to unlined passages.


Composite materials Thermal conductivity, Tubes Thermodynamics, Heat Transmission, Carbon fibers Testing, Thermal analysis

Rights Statement

Copyright 2010, author