A computational technique based on Maxwell's methodology is presented for evaluating the effective thermal conductivity of isotropic materials with periodic or random arrangement of spherical pores. The basic idea of the approach is to construct an equivalent sphere in an infinite space whose effects on the temperature at distant points are the same as those of a finite cluster of spherical pores arranged in a pattern representative of the material in question. The thermal properties of the equivalent sphere then define the effective thermal properties of the material. This procedure is based on a semi-analytical solution of a problem of an infinite space containing a cluster of non-overlapping spherical pores under prescribed temperature gradient at infinity. The method works equally well for periodic and random arrays of spherical pores.
- Effective thermal conductivity
- Isotropic porous materials
- Maxwell's methodology