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19 April 2017 Novel dynamic thermal characterization of multifunctional concretes with microencapsulated phase change materials
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Concrete is widely applied in the construction sector for its reliable mechanical performance, its easiness of use and low costs. It also appears promising for enhancing the thermal-energy behavior of buildings thanks to its capability to be doped with multifunctional fillers. In fact, key studies acknowledged the benefits of thermally insulated concretes for applications in ceilings and walls. At the same time, thermal capacity also represents a key property to be optimized, especially for lightweight constructions. In this view, Thermal-Energy Storage (TES) systems have been recently integrated into building envelopes for increasing thermal inertia. More in detail, numerical experimental investigations showed how Phase Change materials (PCMs), as an acknowledged passive TES strategy, can be effectively included in building envelope, with promising results in terms of thermal buffer potentiality. In particular, this work builds upon previous papers aimed at developing the new PCM-filled concretes for structural applications and optimized thermalenergy efficiency, and it is focused on the development of a new experimental method for testing such composite materials in thermal-energy dynamic conditions simulated in laboratory by exposing samples to environmentally controlled microclimate while measuring thermal conductivity and diffusivity by means of transient plane source techniques. The key findings show how the new composites are able to increasingly delay the thermal wave with increasing the PCM concentration and how the thermal conductivity varies during the course of the phase change, in both melting and solidification processes. The new analysis produces useful findings in proposing an effective method for testing composite materials with adaptive thermal performance, much needed by the scientific community willing to study building envelopes dynamics.
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Anna Laura Pisello, Claudia Fabiani, Antonella D'Alessandro, Luisa F. Cabeza, Filippo Ubertini, and Franco Cotana "Novel dynamic thermal characterization of multifunctional concretes with microencapsulated phase change materials", Proc. SPIE 10171, Smart Materials and Nondestructive Evaluation for Energy Systems 2017, 101710P (19 April 2017);

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