Thermal cycling effect on the nanoparticle distribution and specific heat of a carbonate eutectic with alumina nanoparticles
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The objective of this research was to measure the effect of thermal cycling on the nanoparticle distribution and specific heat of a nanocomposite material consisting of a eutectic of lithium carbonate and potassium carbonate and 1% by mass alumina nanoparticles. The material was subjected to thermal cycling in a stainless steel tube using a temperature controlled furnace. After thermal cycling, the stainless steel tube was sectioned into three equal parts – top, middle and bottom. Composite material samples were taken from the central region and near the wall region of each section. The specific heat of this material in the temperature range of 290°C-397°C was measured using the Modulated Differential Scanning Calorimeter (MDSC) method. The concentration of alumina nanoparticles in this material was measured using neutron activation analysis. The average specific heat of the uncycled material was found to be 1.37 J/g°C.The average specific heat of the thermally cycled material was between 1.7-2.1 J/g°C. It was found that the concentration of the nanoparticle varied along the height of the sample tube. The nanoparticles tended to settle towards the bottom of the tube with thermal cycling. There was also migration of nanoparticles towards the wall of the sample tube with thermal cycling. Despite these gross movements of nanoparticles, there was no significant change in the specific heat of the nanocomposite due to thermal cycling.
Shankar, Sandhya (2011). Thermal cycling effect on the nanoparticle distribution and specific heat of a carbonate eutectic with alumina nanoparticles. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from