Date of Award

Fall 11-18-2022

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Birce Dikici

Committee Advisor

Birce Dikici

First Committee Member

Eduardo Divo

Second Committee Member

Rafael Rodriguez

Third Committee Member

Marc Compere

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Jeff Brown

College Dean

James W. Gregory


This study indicates how biomass materials can be effectively used as naturally sustainable alternatives to insulation materials. Barley grains and oak leaves, straw, and jute are collected, and crushed into powders/ chopped pieces. The physical characteristics are measured to characterize each powder. The biomass powder reinforced composites are manufactured in varying weight ratios. The density and thermal conductivity of composite materials are measured. The properties of composites compared to those of commercial insulation materials are found to be close to them. Furthermore, genetic algorithms (GA) can be used to achieve multi-objective optimization entailing maximizing insulation (minimizing heat transfer) and simultaneously maximizing sustainability (minimizing carbon footprint) of a designed insulation structure. The two resulting nonlinear competing objective functions will be maximized by means of evolutionary optimization techniques within a defined design space. The multi-objective optimization is achieved by building a Pareto front and determining the points of best compromise between the two objectives.