MRI Acquisition of Instrumentation for Thermal Characterization of Materials

Grants and Contracts Details


This action supports the acquisition of a Netzsch LFA 427 Laser Flash Apparatus for the measurement of thermal conductivity and diffusivity. Instrument users include researchers in Chemistry, Chemical and Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), the Center for Aluminum Technology and the Painting Technology Consortium. Currently, the University of Kentucky has heavy demand for bulk thermal conductivity measurements and investigators must rely on collaborators at other institutions for such measurements, slowing the research programs. Applications for the Netzsch LFA 427 include characterization of carbon nanoparticle/polymer composites; carbon electrodes used in aluminum manufacture; lightweight aluminum alloys; flame-resistant composites; fluids and nanofluids with high thermal conductivity; organic materials for electronic device applications; naval and automotive coatings; alloys and ceramics for high temperatures and harsh environments; and agricultural grains and similar products. The instrument will be located in dedicated laboratory space at CAER under the supervision of a full-time professional staff member who will acquire data for occasional users, train students and postdoctoral associates, and coordinate data collection. The need for lighter-weight, more energy-efficient materials is increasing, as is the demand on the physical properties of these materials. Such materials are used in the aerospace industry as structural composites and thermal management materials, in chemical processing applications where high temperature stability and chemical resistance are needed, and in the electronics industry to replace metals for conduction and heat management applications. One of the most important physical properties of these materials, especially those based on carbon, is how well they transmit heat energy. Thus, the ability to determine thermal diffusivity is essential for material evaluation. Further, the capacity to tailor or modify thermal properties of materials by chemical functionalization or modification, thermal processing and precursor development is essential in extending their application into high performance, high value markets in electronics, aerospace, information technologies, automobiles and medicine. This instrument will facilitate the education of undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral associates. Undergraduate students are included in research activities to give them more exposure to interdisciplinary work. An effort is made to target recruitment and participation by minority students with a special regional emphasis on Appalachian students.
Effective start/end date8/1/037/31/04


  • National Science Foundation: $172,000.00


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