Floury, J., Carson, J., & Pham, Q. T. (2008). Modelling thermal conductivity in heterogeneous media with the finite element method. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 1(2), 161-170.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8210
Three-dimensional finite element simulations were developed to predict the effective thermal conductivity of theoretical composite materials having complex structures. The models simulated a steady-state thermal conductivity measurement device performing measurements on theoretical materials with varying structures. The structure of a composite was considered to be composed of some simplified basic models. When the geometry, orientation type and number of dispersion are specified, the computer randomly generated the position and orientation for each dispersion and created the geometrical model and finite element mesh. The effective thermal conductivity of the theoretical composite was calculated using this method and compared to the values obtained by simple effective thermal conductivity models methods. The influence of some factors such as the volume fraction and the ratio of the thermal conductivities of the heterogeneities and the surrounding material on the effective thermal conductivity is discussed.