Anomalous behavior of thermal conductivity and diffusivity in polymeric materials filled with metallic particles

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Thermal properties of two composites prepared by using a polypropylene matrix filled with aluminum (slightly oxidized) and copper fillers were investigated. For each of these fillers two different particle sizes were used. We have shown an anomalous thermal behavior when these metallic fillers are slightly oxidized, i.e. higher thermal transport is obtained for PP/Al composites when using the largest particles. So, the PP/Al composites thermal behavior is not consistent with the PP/Cu ones and with the literature results reported for dielectric or conducting filler particles in a polymeric matrix. Thus, these PP/Al composites exhibit higher thermal transport properties than the homopolymer matrix where as electrical insulating properties of PP are preserved. This kind of composite structure might be of great interest in some technological applications where both good electrical insulation and high thermal conduction are required.

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