Measurement of thermal conductivity of epoxy resins during cure

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This work reports the development of a methodology for the measurement of thermal conductivity of thermosetting polymers during their cure. The study addresses the reliability and robustness of the method through FEA modeling and testing using a noncuring material with known thermal conductivity. The thermal conductivity and its evolution during the cure has been measured for three widely used aerospace epoxy resins, namely, RTM6, 890RTM, and the XU3508/XB3473 system as function of cure temperature. A constitutive model expressing the dependence of thermal conductivity on the degree of cure and temperature has been established. The device developed here can measure thermal conductivity of epoxy resin with accuracy up to 3%.