2004 Volume 47 Issue 2 Pages 181-188
This paper discusses an implementation of Hybrid Boundary Node Method (Hybrid BNM) to the heat conduction analysis within bodies containing thin-walled structures. As an application, the thermal analysis in carbon nanotubes (CNT) based composites is presented. CNTs are predicted to possess superior heat conductivity and may, even with a small amount embedded, substantially improve heat conducting behavior of polymers. In this paper the equivalent heat conductivities of CNT-based nanocomposites are evaluated using a 3-D nanoscale representative volume element (RVE) model and the hybrid boundary node method (Hybrid BNM). The temperature distribution and heat flux concentration are studied. The equivalent heat conductivity of the RVE as a function of the nanotube length is calculated and discussed, and, moreover, an approximate formula for its evaluation for an RVE containing single nanotube is proposed. Computations indicate that addition of about 7.2% to 17% (volume fraction) of CNT to the polymer matrix may result in the increase of heat conductivity of the composite varying from 49% to 334% both for short and long CNT.