Hollow-particle-filled composites called syntactic foams are lightweight particulate composites that are useful in weight-sensitive applications such as aerospace and marine structures. Extensive literature is now available on the mechanical properties of syntactic foams. The upcoming applications for syntactic foams in aerospace structures require understanding of their thermal properties, such as the thermal conductivity. The present review article summarizes the available experimental results and theoretical models related to the thermal conductivity of syntactic foams. Experimental results are available for only a few compositions of syntactic foams. Basic understating of the relationship between thermal conductivity of syntactic foams and the material parameters, such as hollow particle volume fraction and wall thickness, is not available through experimental results at this point. Four theoretical models are tested with the experimental data and found to provide close predictions. These models are used to conduct parametric studies. It is observed that the thermal conductivity of syntactic foams decreases as the volume fraction of thin-walled particles is increased. An inverse relationship is observed for thick-walled, hollow-particle-filled syntactic foams. These models can help in designing syntactic foams with required thermal conductivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)