Matching Items (4)

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Fundamentals of Soft, Stretchable Heat Exchanger Design

Description

Deformable heat exchangers could provide a multitude of previously untapped advantages ranging from adaptable performance via macroscale, dynamic shape change (akin to dilation/constriction seen in blood vessels) to enhanced heat

Deformable heat exchangers could provide a multitude of previously untapped advantages ranging from adaptable performance via macroscale, dynamic shape change (akin to dilation/constriction seen in blood vessels) to enhanced heat transfer at thermal interfaces through microscale, surface deformations. So far, making deformable, ‘soft heat exchangers’ (SHXs) has been limited by the low thermal conductivity of materials with suitable mechanical properties. The recent introduction of liquid-metal embedded elastomers by Bartlett et al1 has addressed this need. Specifically, by remaining soft and stretchable despite the addition of filler, these thermally conductive composites provide an ideal material for the new class of “soft thermal systems”, which is introduced in this work. Understanding such thermal systems will be a key element in enabling technology that require high levels of stretchability, such as thermoregulatory garments, soft electronics, wearable electronics, and high-powered robotics. Shape change inherent to SHX operation has the potential to violate many conventional assumptions used in HX design and thus requires the development of new theoretical approaches to predict performance. To create a basis for understanding these devices, this work highlights two sequential studies. First, the effects of transitioning to a surface deformable, SHX under steady state static conditions in the setting of a liquid cooling device for thermoregulation, electronics and robotics applications was explored. In this study, a thermomechanical model was built and validated to predict the thermal performance and a system wide analysis to optimize such devices was carried out. Second, from a more fundamental perspective, the effects of SHXs undergoing transient shape deformation during operation was explored. A phase shift phenomenon in cooling performance dependent on stretch rate, stretch extent and thermal diffusivity was discovered and explained. With the use of a time scale analysis, the extent of quasi-static assumption viability in modeling such systems was quantified and multiple shape modulation regime limits were defined. Finally, nuance considerations and future work of using liquid metal-silicone composites in SHXs were discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Quantifying the properties of elastic, liquid metal based thermal interface materials

Description

Advancements in thermal interface materials (TIMs) allows for the creation of new and more powerful electronics as they increase the heat transfer from the component to the heat sink. Current

Advancements in thermal interface materials (TIMs) allows for the creation of new and more powerful electronics as they increase the heat transfer from the component to the heat sink. Current industrial options provide decent heat transfer, but the creation of TIMs with higher thermal conductivities is needed. In addition, if these TIMs are elastic in nature, their effectiveness can greatly increase as they can deal with changing interfaces without degradation of their properties. The research performed delves into this idea, creating elastic TIMs using liquid metal (LM), in this case galinstan, along with other matrix particles embedded in Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to create an easy to use, relatively inexpensive, thermally conductive, but electrically insulative, pad with increased thermal conductivity from industrial solutions.

The pads were created using varying amounts of LM and matrix materials ranging from copper microspheres to diamond powder mixed into PDMS using a high-speed mixer. The material was then cast into molds and cured to create the pads. Once the pads were created, the difficulty came in quantifying their thermal properties. A stepped bar apparatus (SBA) following ASTM D5470 was created to measure the thermal resistance of the pads but it was determined that thermal conductivity was a more usable metric of the pads’ performance. This meant that the pad’s in-situ thickness was needed during testing, prompting the installation of a linear encoder to measure the thickness. The design and analysis of the necessary modification and proposed future design is further detailed in the following paper.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Gallium-based room temperature liquid metals and its application to single channel two-liquid hyperelastic capacitive strain sensors

Description

Gallium-based liquid metals are of interest for a variety of applications including flexible electronics, soft robotics, and biomedical devices. Still, nano- to microscale device fabrication with these materials is challenging

Gallium-based liquid metals are of interest for a variety of applications including flexible electronics, soft robotics, and biomedical devices. Still, nano- to microscale device fabrication with these materials is challenging because of their strong adhesion to a majority of substrates. This unusual high adhesion is attributed to the formation of a thin oxide shell; however, its role in the adhesion process has not yet been established. In the first part of the thesis, we described a multiscale study aiming at understanding the fundamental mechanisms governing wetting and adhesion of gallium-based liquid metals. In particular, macroscale dynamic contact angle measurements were coupled with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) imaging to relate macroscopic drop adhesion to morphology of the liquid metal-surface interface. In addition, room temperature liquid-metal microfluidic devices are also attractive systems for hyperelastic strain sensing. Currently two types of liquid metal-based strain sensors exist for inplane measurements: single-microchannel resistive and two-microchannel capacitive devices. However, with a winding serpentine channel geometry, these sensors typically have a footprint of about a square centimeter, limiting the number of sensors that can be embedded into. In the second part of the thesis, firstly, simulations and an experimental setup consisting of two GaInSn filled tubes submerged within a dielectric liquid bath are used to quantify the effects of the cylindrical electrode geometry including diameter, spacing, and meniscus shape as well as dielectric constant of the insulating liquid and the presence of tubing on the overall system's capacitance. Furthermore, a procedure for fabricating the two-liquid capacitor within a single straight polydiemethylsiloxane channel is developed. Lastly, capacitance and response of this compact device to strain and operational issues arising from complex hydrodynamics near liquid-liquid and liquid-elastomer interfaces are described.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Enhanced thermal transport in soft composites through magnetic alignment and contact engineering

Description

Soft polymer composites with improved thermal conductivity are needed for the thermal management of electronics. Interfacial thermal boundary resistance, however, prevents the efficient use of many high thermal conductivity fill

Soft polymer composites with improved thermal conductivity are needed for the thermal management of electronics. Interfacial thermal boundary resistance, however, prevents the efficient use of many high thermal conductivity fill materials. Magnetic alignment of ferrous fill material enforces percolation of the high thermal conductivity fill, thereby shifting the governing boundary resistance to the particle- particle interfaces and increasing the directional thermal conductivity of the polymer composite. Magnetic alignment maximizes the thermal conductivity while minimizing composite stiffening at a fill fraction of half the maximum packing factor. The directional thermal conductivity of the composite is improved by more than 2-fold. Particle-particle contact engineering is then introduced to decrease the particle- particle boundary resistance and further improve the thermal conductivity of the composite.

The interface between rigid fill particles is a point contact with very little interfacial area connecting them. Silver and gallium-based liquid metal (LM) coatings provide soft interfaces that, under pressure, increase the interfacial area between particles and decrease the particle-particle boundary resistance. These engineered contacts are investigated both in and out of the polymer matrix and with and without magnetic alignment of the fill. Magnetically aligned in the polymer matrix, 350nm- thick silver coatings on nickel particles produce a 1.8-fold increase in composite thermal conductivity over the aligned bare-nickel composites. The LM coatings provide similar enhancements, but require higher volumes of LM to do so. This is due to the rapid formation of gallium oxide, which introduces additional thermal boundaries and decreases the benefit of the LM coatings.

The oxide shell of LM droplets (LMDs) can be ruptured using pressure. The pressure needed to rupture LMDs matches closely to thin-walled pressure vessel theory. Furthermore, the addition of tungsten particles stabilizes the mixture for use at higher pressures. Finally, thiols and hydrochloric acid weaken the oxide shell and boost the thermal performance of the beds of LMDs by 50% at pressures much lower than 1 megapascal (MPa) to make them more suitable for use in TIMs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019