Multi-Scale Modeling of Thermal Conductivity of SiC-Reinforced Aluminum Metal Matrix Composite


High thermal conductivity is one important factor in the selection or development of ceramics or composite materials. Predicting the thermal conductivity would be useful to the design and application of such materials. In this paper, a multi-scale model is developed to predict the effective thermal conductivity in SiC particle-reinforced aluminum metal matrix composite. A coupled two-temperature molecular dynamics model is used to calculate the thermal conductivity of the Al/SiC interface. The electronic effects on the interfacial thermal conductivity are studied. A homogenized finite element model with embedded thin interfacial elements is used to predict the properties of bulk materials, considering the microstructure. The effects of temperatures, SiC particle sizes, and volume fractions on the thermal conductivity are also studied. A good agreement is found between prediction results and experimental measurements. The successful prediction of thermal conductivity could help a better understanding and an improvement of thermal transport within composites and ceramics.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center

Keywords and Phrases

Multi-Scale Modeling; Ab Initio Calculations; Molecular Dynamics; Thermal Conductivity; Composites

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0021-9983; 1530-793X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 SAGE Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2017