Deep learning methods based on cross-section images for predicting effective thermal conductivity of composites

12 Apr 2019  ·  Rong Qingyuan, Wei Han, Bao Hua ·

Effective thermal conductivity is an important property of composites for different thermal management applications. Although physics-based methods, such as effective medium theory and solving partial differential equation, dominate the relevant research, there is significant interest to establish the structure-property linkage through the machine learning method... The performance of general machine learning methods is highly dependent on features selected to represent the microstructures. 3D convolutional neural networks (CNNs) can directly extract geometric features of composites, which have been demonstrated to establish structure-property linkages with high accuracy. However, to obtain the 3D microstructure in composite is generally challenging in reality. In this work, we attempt to use 2D cross-section images which can be easier to obtain in real applications as input of 2D CNNs to predict effective thermal conductivity of 3D composites. The results show that by using multiple cross-section images along or perpendicular to the preferred directionality of the fillers, the prediction accuracy of 2D CNNs can be as good as 3D CNNs. Such a result is demonstrated with the particle filled composite and a stochastic complex composite. The prediction accuracy is dependent on the representativeness of cross-section images used. Multiple cross-section images can fully determine the shape and distribution of fillers. The average over multiple images and the use of large-size images can reduce the uncertainty and increase the prediction accuracy. Besides, since cross-section images along the heat flow direction can distinguish between serial structures and parallel structures, they are more representative than cross-section images perpendicular to the heat flow direction. read more

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Computational Physics Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability