Thermal conductivity of sorghum and sorghum-thermoplastic composite panels

Chusheng Qi, Vikram Yadama, Kangquan Guo, Michael P. Wolcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Thermal conductivity of a material is a key parameter to simulate heat transfer during manufacturing of a composite under heat and pressure. This study investigated the thermal conductivity of composite panels hot-pressed with varying proportions of sweet sorghum and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Thermal conductivity of the composites was tested under steady-state conditions. The effects of temperature (12.5-62.5°C), density (0.7-1.0g/cm3) and HDPE (0-40%) content on thermal conductivity of the composite products were investigated. Thermal conductivity increases in a linear manner with temperature and density, and in a nonlinear manner with HDPE content. An empirical equation for describing the thermal conductivity of sweet sorghum and HDPE composite panels was fitted, and has a good agreement with testing data. Compared with other empirical equations for predicting the thermal conductivity of wood, the experimental values in this study consistently had lower values, indicting a significant difference in thermal conductivity of composites manufactured with agro-based natural fibers compared to wood fibers. Additionally, predicted thermal conductivity values are limited by those estimated by the parallel and series models for two phase composites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-460
Number of pages6
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
StatePublished - Feb 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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