Highly conductive fillers have a strong influence on improving the poor out of plane thermal conductivity of carbon fiber reinforced composites. The objective of this study has been to investigate the role of the diamond powder (DP) in enhancing the out-of-plane thermal conductivity of the woven composites. Samples of the standard modulus T300 carbon fiber composite with 44% and 55% fiber volume fraction and the high modulus YS90A carbon fiber composite with 50% volume fraction were fabricated with their matrices comprising of neat epoxy and different loading of diamond powder within epoxy resin. Steady state thermal conductivity measurements were carried out and it was found from the measurements that the out of plane thermal conductivity of the standard modulus composite increased by a factor of 2.3 with 14% volume fraction of diamond powder in the composite while the out of plane thermal conductivity of the high modulus composite increased by a factor of 2.8 with 12% volume fraction of diamond powder in the composite. Finite Element Modeling (FEM) with the incorporation of microstructural characteristics is presented and good consistency between the measurements and FEM results were observed.
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