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Diamond vs. glass -- thermal properties

  1. Feb 10, 2017 #1
    Hi, I was reading up on the properties on various materials but never quite found out what I was looking for.
    My question is this , I found out an explanation why diamond is the best thermal conductor even though its not a metal and why other materials that would be similar to diamond like glass are poor conductors of heat , I just want to make sure so I'll ask here , is diamonds heat capabilities because of its perfect crystalline atomic structure ?
    I'm sure metals were good thermal conductors for the same reason that they are good electric conductors which is free electrons is it the same for diamonds?

    My other question is this , I've been reading about molten salt reactors and the materials that have been put forth as possible primary salt or fissile core materials for a two fluid/salt thorium breeder, obviously for any molten salt reactor especially a two fluid design the material separating the two salts would have to withstand very high neutron flux and heat , but since the fissile core produces heat which needs to be transported to the turbine via conducting fluids (water/gas) the material separating the salts also needs to be fairly good at heat conduction.So far materials like Hastalloy-n and graphite have been suggested , so I was wondering what about diamond for example?
    Now I do understand the economic problems that would make but from a purely scientific perspective , diamond has a high melting point and is a good thermal conductor , how it behaves under intense neutron environment?
    what about glass , maybe some special doped one , its much worse at heat conduction but then again maybe it can be split into multiple smaller tubes located closely,

    I would love to hear some information about these materials properties under such environments as this topic got me interested.

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2017 #2
    Diamond does not have free electrons as metals do (although I'm not sure if free is the best word to describe them- my chem teacher called it a "sea of mobile electrons" that surround the metal cations). Diamond is a covalent network solid made up of an immense number of Carbon atoms bonded to each other, forming one giant molecule.
  4. Feb 13, 2017 #3
    Well I was looking for some information also on how well different materials withstand neutron flux and heat combined , I was thinking what is the neutron endurance for glass or various types of glass for example , I couldn't find such info elsewhere?
    is there any type of glass whose thermal conduction is better than that of ordinary glass which is quite poor ?

    what about diamonds neutron properties how well does it stand up with respect to such known neutron shields and moderators as graphite or boron?
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