Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Yunping Xi

Second Advisor

Ross B. Corotis

Third Advisor

Richard A. Regueiro

Fourth Advisor

Siva Mettupalayam

Fifth Advisor

Abie Liel


This research focuses on two important subjects: (1) Characterization of heterogeneous microstructure of multi-phase composites and the effect of microstructural features on effective properties of the material. (2) Utilizations of phase change materials and recycled rubber particles from waste tires to improve thermal properties of insulation materials used in building envelopes.

Spatial pattern of multi-phase and multi-dimensional internal structures of most composite materials are highly random. Quantitative description of the spatial distribution should be developed based on proper statistical models, which characterize the morphological features. For a composite material with multi-phases, the volume fraction of the phases as well as the morphological parameters of the phases have very strong influences on the effective property of the composite. These morphological parameters depend on the microstructure of each phase. This study intends to include the effect of higher order morphological details of the microstructure in the composite models. The higher order statistics, called two-point correlation functions, characterize various behaviors of the composite at any two points in a stochastic field. Specifically, correlation functions of mosaic patterns are used in the study for characterizing transport properties of composite materials.

One of the most effective methods to improve energy efficiency of buildings is to enhance thermal properties of insulation materials. The idea of using phase change materials and recycled rubber particles such as scrap tires in insulation materials for building envelopes has been studied.


Sixth advisor: Stephan Durham.