S. Farzinazar, T. A. Schaedler, L. Valdevit, J. Lee
APL Materials 7 (2019) 101108
Publication year: 2019


While over the past decade architected cellular materials have been shown to possess unique mechanical properties, their thermal properties have received relatively little attention. Here, we investigate thermal transport in hollow nickel microlattices as a function of temperature and mechanical loading using infrared thermography. The effective thermal conductivity of hollow nickel microlattices with 99.9% porosity and 1 µm layer thickness is as low as 0.049 W m−1 K−1 at 320 K and increases to 0.075 W m−1 K−1 at 480 K, an increase we attribute to internal thermal radiation. By measuring the emissivity and using the Stephan-Boltzmann law, we estimate the contribution of thermal radiation in the effective thermal conductivity to range from 20% at 320 K to 49% at 480 K. The high porosity of microlattices strongly limits solid conduction and makes surface radiation very important in thermal transport. We further explore the impact of the strut surface condition by comparing hollow doped nickel microlattices with a smooth surface to those with a rough surface: the emissivity increases from 0.24 to 0.43, leading to increased thermal radiation contributions of 41% at 320 K to 58% at 480 K. Under mechanical loading, as the strain increases from 0% to 50%, decreasing the angle between the struts and the horizontal plane from 60° to 38°, the effective thermal conductivity decreases from 0.049 W m−1 K−1 to 0.016 W m−1 K−1. These findings indicate that architected cellular materials provide an excellent platform to control thermal properties independently on mechanical properties and to potentially develop thermal and thermomechanical metamaterials.