Thermal Behavior of Mesoporous Aramid Fiber Reinforced Silica Aerogel Composite for Thermal Insulation Applications: Microscale Modeling

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Laboratory of Electro-Mechanic Systems (LASEM), National School of Engineers of Sfax (ENIS), University of Sfax (US), B.P. 1173, Road Soukra km 3.5, 3038 Sfax, Tunisia

2 UR: Modeling, Optimization and Augmented Engineering, ISLAI Béja, University of Jendouba, Béja 9000, Tunisia

3 Kuwait College of Science & Technology, Doha, Kuwait

4 Laboratory of Applied Mechanics of New Materials (LMANM), University May 08, 1945, B.P. 401 Guelma 24000, Algeria

5 LR3MI Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Annaba University, BP. 12, 23000 Annaba, Algeria

6 SPCTS Laboratory, University of Limoges, Limoges, France

7 Department of Mechanical Engineering, CEMMPRE, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal


This paper explores the incorporation of aramid fibers, recognized for their high mechanical flexibility and low thermal conductivity (TC), to serve as reinforcing agents within the highly porous aerogel matrix in order to overcome their fragility and weak mechanical structure that impose limitations on their practical utility especially in piping insulation. The thermal properties are determined using a micromechanical modeling approach that considers parameters such as temperature, fiber volume fraction, thermal conductivity, and porosity of the silica aerogel. For specific conditions, including an Aramid fiber radius of 6 microns, a silica aerogel thermal conductivity of 0.017 W.m-1.K-1, and a porosity of 95%, the resulting AFRA composite exhibits an Effective Thermal Conductivity (ETC) of 0.0234 W.m-1.K-1. Notably, this value is lower than the thermal conductivity of air at ambient temperature. The findings are further validated through experimental and analytical techniques. A response surface methodology (RSM) based on Box-Behnken design (BBD) is employed. This approach leads to the development of a quadratic equation intricately relating the key parameters to the ETC of the AFRA. The aim is optimization, identifying target optimal values for these parameters to further enhance the performance of AFRA composites.


Main Subjects

Publisher’s Note Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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