Models are presented for the determination of thermal conductivity of a composite lamina with woven fiber mats. In analyzing the cure cycle of a composite part, the common practice has been to use weight-averaged thermal properties. The limitation of this approach becomes apparent when one finds that thermal conductivity calculated for fiberglass/epoxy composite is very close to thermal conductivity of carbon/epoxy composite. This happens for composite parts with the same fiber volume fraction. In weight-average formulations the effect of fiber thermal conductivity is overshadowed by the density of the constituents. To overcome this problem, one needs to take another approach. In this investigation finite element analysis is performed to determine thermal conductivities of fiberglass/epoxy and carbon/epoxy composite lamina. The resulting thermal conductivities are different for the two composite types. These results make more physical sense since thermal conductivity of carbon fiber mat is much higher than that of fiberglass mat.

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