Numerical investigation of the performance of fibre-glass/talc filled epoxy composite as insulator in heating applications
This study investigates experimentally and numerically the performance of fibre-glass/talc filled epoxy as an insulator in domestic heating application. The epoxy composites with micro filler (talc) and fibre glass used in this investigation were cured at temperatures of 50°C, 75°C, 100°C, 125°C and 150°C at a constant holding time of 120 minutes. A total of 40 composite specimen were tested and investigated in this paper. Thermal properties of the different composites at their specific cured temperatures are determined using a kd2 pro thermal analyser. The thermo-physical properties measured are the thermal conductivity, volumetric heat capacity and density of the composites. A computational fluid dynamics tool (ANSYS 15.0) was used to model a domestic cooking pot and run various simulations using the thermo-physical properties of the composites to study how the Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites perform when compared Bakelite as the heat insulator handles of the modelled pot. Results obtained showed that 10 of this composites at different cured temperature performed better than Bakelite, with the 2E composite cured at 125°C (125°C- 2E), being the best performing composite out of the 40 specimen investigated, having insulated about 30°C of heat compared to Bakelite with 24.4°C. It was observed that all the composites insulated heat above 20°C which is a considerable value for this form of domestic heating application, and thus fibreglass talc filled epoxy can be recommended for domestic heating insulation over existing material with advantageous qualities such as light weight, naturally occurring, cost effectiveness and availability.