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Scientists Achieve High Thermal Conductivity in Polyethylene Using New Strategy

Published on 2021-10-05. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Electrical & Electronics      High Heat Materials     New Energy Solutions   

bu-PE-uhmw A team of researchers at University at Buffalo (UB) report a new strategy to achieve high thermal conductive electric insulator polyethylene with high dielectric constant and strength. The researchers describe solution gel-sheared ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (SUPE) to become an enabling electric insulating material measured by an outstanding in-plane thermal conductivity of 10.74 W m-1 K-1, and an average dielectric constant of 4.1.

20 Times Higher Conductivity

Compared with standard polymer dielectrics, the SUPE transparent thin films outstanding thermal conductivity is 20 times higher than non-strained polyethylene, and their average dielectric constant is about 1.8 times higher than non-strained polyethylene. With this material, the heat flux from power electronic systems can be dissipated instantly, which will improve the achievable power density and efficiency.

"We ascribe the dramatically improved dielectric properties and thermal conductivities in the solution-gel sheared SUPE material to the alignment and close packing of ultrahigh molecular weight crystalline chains, facilitating the formation of a large number of separated nano-capacitor arrays with high k and high resistivity," Dr. Jian Yu, a materials engineer at DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, explains.

Promising Electrical Insulator Material

Due to its high thermal conductivity and high breakdown voltage, this novel SUPE polymer electric insulator is a promising electrical insulator material for today's high-power electric systems and advanced electronics. Potential applications include polymer insulators for advanced electronics with thermal management, such as conductors, circuit boards, and printable electronics.

The team's next step is to explore the application of SUPE on electronic devices or electronics demanding thermal management, such as high-power printable electronics, the sheath jacket for electric wires, 5G electronics, and cables.

"As we have demonstrated in our study, our energy-efficient polymer dielectric material possesses superior thermal conducting, mechanical and dielectric durability, and reliability across a broad temperature and frequency range," Shenqiang Ren, a professor at the University at Buffalo concludes. "These findings overcome two important hurdles in high-temperature electric-insulation polymer materials by rationally designing the hierarchical structure through solution gel-shearing and lattice strains and by manufacturing lightweight, flexible polymers that can be shaped into intricate configurations for safe applications in high power electronics and flexible advanced electric systems." The funding to this work was provided by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

Check Out Various Electrically Conductive Polyethylene Grades

Source: University of Buffalo


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