The thermal conductivity of intermetallics

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The thermal conductivity of titanium aluminide and several ruthenium-aluminium alloys has been studied from room temperature up to 500°C. Ruthenium aluminide is a B2-type intermetallic which is unusual and of special interest because of its toughness, specific strength and stiffness, oxidation resistance and low cost. The possible use of ruthenium aluminide in high temperature industrial applications required an investigation of the thermal properties of this compound. Apparatus, capable of measuring thermal conductivity at elevated temperatures has been designed and constructed. This study represents the first experimental results for the thermal conductivity of ruthenium aluminide alloys. The electrical resistivity of the intermetallic compounds has been measured using apparatus based on the Van der Pauw method. The Weidman-Franz ratio of the ruthenium aluminide alloys has been calculated and this indicates that the primary source of heat conduction in these alloys is by electronic movement and that the lattice contribution is minor. The electrical and thermal properties of ruthenium aluminide are shown to be similar to that of platinum and nickel aluminide. This has important implications for the use of these alloys in high temperature applications.

Includes bibliographical references.