The effect of 15 vol% particulate diamond reinforcement on the thermal conductivity of a cordierite matrix was studied as a function of diamond particle size from room temperature to 700⁰C. The thermal conductivity was found to increase with increasing particle size to a maximum increase of about 75% for a mean particle size of 50 µm. The particle size effect was found to be more pronounced at the lower temperatures than at the higher temperatures. The observed effect of particle size and temperature was attributed to the existence of an interfacial thermal barrier, possibly resulting from interfacial phonon scattering, with a positive temperature dependence of the interfacial thermal conductance. The magnitude of this conductance suggested strong adhesion between the diamond and cordierite.
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