ENGINEERING THERMAL PROPERTIES OF POROUS MATERIALS WITH NANOPARTICLES
Mouhamad Said Diallo1, Ganesh Balasubramanian2.
1Des Moines Area Community College, Ames, IA, 2Iowa State University, Ames, IA.
Porous materials are described as materials that have holes in them, making their thermal conductivity very low. Thermal conductivity is the ability of a material to conduct heat. Although the low thermal conductivity of porous materials makes them good thermal insulators, we want to know if there is a way to enhance that thermal property. Other researches have tried to study the thermal properties of porous materials and have come to a conclusion that the existence of pores in them makes their thermal conductivity low. In order to study the increase of thermal conductivity, we mixed metallic nanoparticles with a porous material in order to make the nanoparticles fill the pores, increasing the thermal conductivity of the system. As a result, we noticed an increase in the thermal conductivity of the mixture: aluminum nanoparticle and diatomaceous earth. Several explanations can be provided, but the most obvious is that the nanoparticles are filling the pores between the diatomic frustules. The filling of the pores plays a big role by increasing overall thermal conductivity. Although we have given explanations of our results, more analytical work is needed to support the experimental results.