Numerical Computation of Anisotropic Thermal Conductivity in Injection Molded Polymer Heat Sink Filled with Graphite Flakes
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The use of polymer composites as a replacement for commonly applied materials in industry has been on the rise in recent decades. Along with the development of computer software, the desire to predict the behavior of new products is thus increasing. Traditional additives in the form of fibers cause anisotropic properties of the whole product. The subject of the presented study is a polymer heat sink prototype with a thermally conductive filler in the form of graphite flakes, which differs from the commonly used fibers. Three simplified approaches are introduced to model the thermal conductivity anisotropy of an entire heat sink. Each model is subjected to an inverse heat conduction problem, the output of which are thermal conductivity values. These are optimized to minimize the difference between simulated and experimental temperatures at selected locations in the model. The approaches are compared with each other with respect to their error against the experimentally obtained results. The goal is to find a sufficiently simplified approach that can be applied to products of various geometries. This would remove the costly and time-consuming need for mold production and experimental testing.
Keywordspolymer heat sink, graphite flakes, anisotropy, thermal conductivity, heat conduction, numerical simulation
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourcePolymers. 2022, vol. 14, issue 16, p. 1-16.