A COMBINED MONTE CARLO AND FVM MODEL FOR ONE-DIMENSIONAL HEAT TRANSFER IN POLYMER FOAMS
Polymer foams which are closed cell foams, consist of a highly porous but solid body with a cellular structure, have found diverse applications: from buildings to refrigerators for insulation purposes. Heat transport in such foams occurs via gaseous and solid thermal conduction as well as radiation. The objective of this work is to develop a numerical model to study coupled heat transfer by conduction and radiation in one-dimensional multi-phase media representing the polymer foam using combined approach with Monte Carlo and finite volume method (FVM). The Monte Carlo ray tracing method (MCRT) is used for determining the radiative flux which is the source term in energy equation and FVM is used for solving the conduction part in energy equation. The MCRT is a stochastic method which simulates radiative transfer by tracking the histories of a number of rays that represent energy bundles or photons traveling through the medium. The proposed model is explicitly based on the fundamental laws of heat transfer and no empirical assumptions or diffusion approximations are used, which makes it flexible to be applied on micro- and nano spatial scales polymeric foams as well as other types of problems involving continuous and/or discrete variation in refractive index. The result is obtained for temperature distribution inside the domain. The developed model can be used for foam structure optimization to achieve desired insulation properties.