Student Work

Thermal and Electrical Transport Measurements in Metals


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Transport properties are essential considerations in the selection of a material for criticaltransportation and energy applications. In this project, relationships between materials’ microstructure and micro-hardness and their thermal and electrical conductivities have been developed. Three aluminum alloys (wrought 6061 and cast 319 and A356) with various secondary dendrite arm spacing (SDAS = 60 µm and 100 µm), eutectic Si morphology (unmodified and Sr-modified), and aging conditions (natural aging and various artificial aging times) have been selected for the studies. Thermal conductivity was investigated using a custom-built apparatus applying a DC method, while the electrical resistivity used a four-wire Digital Multimeter (DMM) method. All alloys’ microstructures were observed and quantified using an optical microscope with image analysis, and the α-Al matrix resistance was evaluated using Vickers micro-hardness tests. Conductivity results were uniquely correlated to the materials’ characteristic microstructures and aging conditions, and the observed behavior/trends will be presented and discussed.

  • This report represents the work of one or more WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of completion of a degree requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its website without editorial or peer review.
  • E-project-043015-164022
  • 2015
Date created
  • 2015-04-30
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