Thermal Properties of Wood-Derived Silicon Carbide and Copper-Silicon Carbide Composites

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Wood-derived ceramics and composites have been of interest in recent years due to their unique microstructures, which lead to tailorable properties. The porosity and pore size distribution of each wood type is different, which yields variations in properties in the resultant materials. The thermal properties of silicon carbide ceramics and copper-silicon carbide composites derived from wood were studied as a function of their pore structures. Wood was pyrolyzed at temperatures ranging from 300-2400˚C to yield porous carbon. The progression toward long-range order was studied as a function of pyrolyzation temperature. Biomorphic silicon carbide (bioSiC) is a porous ceramic material resulting from silicon melt infiltration of these porous carbon materials. BioSiC has potential applicability in many high temperature environments, particularly those in which rapid temperature changes occur. To understand the behavior of bioSiC at elevated temperatures, the thermal and thermo-mechanical properties were studied. The thermal conductivity of bioSiC from five precursors was determined using flash diffusivity at temperatures up to 1100˚C. Thermal conductivity results varied with porosity, temperature and orientation, and decreased from 42-13 W/mK for porosities of 43-69%, respectively, at room temperature. The results were compared with to object-oriented finite-element analysis (OOF). OOF was also used to model and understand the heat-flow paths through the complex bioSiC microstructures. The thermal shock resistance of bioSiC was also studied, and no bioSiC sample was found to fail catastrophically after up to five thermal shock cycles from 1400˚C to room temperature oil. Copper-silicon carbide composites have potential uses in thermal management applications due to the high thermal conductivity of each phase. Cu-bioSiC composites were created by electrodeposition of copper into bioSiC pores. The detrimental Cu-SiC reaction was avoided by using this room temperature processing technique. Thermal conductivity values were determined using flash diffusivity at temperatures up to 0-900˚C. In the axial orientation, thermal conductivities of up to 207 W/mK at 0˚C and 178 W/mK at 900˚C were achieved. OOF was also used to model the heat flux distributions and to obtain effective thermal conductivity values for these complex microstructures. The thermal expansion coefficient was determined to be 6.98 x 10-6/˚C at room temperature.

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  • 10/01/2018
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