It is well known that polymers are insulators, which limit their usage in other applications where thermal conductivity is essential for heat to be efficiently dissipated or stored. In the past, the improvement in the thermal conductivity of polym.rs with conductive fillers has been investigated by researchers. Carbon-based materials such as graphite, graphene and carbon nanotube, which feature excellent properties such as a high mechanical strength, a high thermal conductivity and a tailorable electronic configuration, have been added to different polymer matrices to enhance their thermal conductivity. Amongst others, graphite more especially expanded graphite merits special interest because of its abundant availability at a relatively low cost and lightweight when compared to other carbon allotropes. Herein, we describe the thermal conductivity of polymer/graphite composites and their applications.
Part of the book: Impact of Thermal Conductivity on Energy Technologies