Developing & tailoring multi-functional carbon foams for multi-field response
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As technological advances occur, many conventional materials are incapable of providing the unique multi-functional characteristics demanded thus driving an accelerated focus to create new material systems such as carbon and graphite foams. The improvement of their mechanical stiffness and strength, and tailoring of thermal and electrical conductivities are two areas of multi-functionality with active interest and investment by researchers. The present research focuses on developing models to facilitate and assess multi-functional carbon foams in an effort to expand knowledge. The foundation of the models relies on a unique approach to finite element meshing which captures the morphology of carbon foams. The developed models also include ligament anisotropy and coatings to provide comprehensive information to guide processing researchers in their pursuit of tailorable performance. Several illustrations are undertaken at multiple scales to explore the response of multi-functional carbon foams under coupled field environments providing valuable insight for design engineers in emerging technologies. The illustrations highlight the importance of individual moduli in the anisotropic stiffness matrix as well as the impact of common processing defects when tailoring the bulk stiffness. Furthermore, complete coating coverage and quality interface conditions are critical when utilizing copper to improve thermal and electrical conductivity of carbon foams.
Sarzynski, Melanie Diane (2008). Developing & tailoring multi-functional carbon foams for multi-field response. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from