Evaluation of the Thermal Performance for a Wire Mesh/Hollow Glass Microsphere Composite Structure as a Conduction Barrier

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Title: Evaluation of the Thermal Performance for a Wire Mesh/Hollow Glass Microsphere Composite Structure as a Conduction Barrier
Author: Mckenna, Sean
Abstract: An experimental investigation exploring the use of wire mesh /hollow glass microsphere combination for use as thermal insulation was conducted with the aim to conclude whether or not it represents a superior insulation technology to those on the market . Three primary variables , including number of wire mesh layers , filler material , and temperature dependence were studied using an apparatus that was part of L .I .C .H .E .N (LabVIEW Integrated Conduction Heat Experiment Network ) , a setup whose basic components allow three vertically stacked samples to be thermally and mechanically controlled . Knowing the temperature profile in the upper and lower samples allows for determination of thermal conductivity of the middle material through the use of Fourier ?s law . The numbers of layers investigated were two , four , six , and eight , with each separated by a metallic liner . The filler materials included air , s15 , s35 and s60HS 3MTM hollow glass microspheres . The experiments were conducted at four temperatures of 300 , 330 , 366 , and 400K with an interface pressure of 20 Psi . The experimental results indicated the ?number of layers ? used was the primary factor in determining the effective thermal conductivity value . The addition of hollow glass microspheres as filler material resulted in statistically insignificant changes in effective thermal conductivity . Increasing the number of wire mesh layers resulted in a corresponding increase in effective thermal conductivity of the insulation . Changes in temperature had little to no effect on thermal conductivity . The effective thermal conductivity values for the proposed insulation structure ranged from 0 .22 to 0 .65 W /m -K , the lowest of which came from the two layer case having air as filler material . The uncertainties associated with the experimental results fell between 10 to 20 percent in all but a few cases . In the best performing cases , when compared with existing insulation technologies , thermal conductivity was approximately 3 to 10 times higher than these methods of insulation . Thus , the proposed insulation scheme with hollow glass -sphere filler material does not represent superior technology , and would be deemed uncompetitive with those readily available in the insulation market .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2008 -12 -122
Date: 2010-01-15

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Evaluation of the Thermal Performance for a Wire Mesh/Hollow Glass Microsphere Composite Structure as a Conduction Barrier. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2008 -12 -122 .

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