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Invigorating Polyurethane Foams with Phase Change Materials Supported in Inorganic Containers

The present study covers the development and testing of polyurethane (PU) foams modified with phase change materials (PCMs) supported in inorganic silica containers. Two kind of inorganic supports (mesoporous silica and tight silica microcapsules) were selected as representative cases of two alternatives for the preparation of phase change composites: infiltration of PCMs on porous supports and microencapsulation of PCMs. The two types of phase change composites exhibit latent heats of 100–130 J·g−1 and PCM uptakes of 45–60%. The addition of the phase change composites to the formulation of a rigid PU foam promoted subtle changes in the foam growth process which were responsible of a cell-size contraction and of strengthening the compressive strength in a 27–30%. The thermal performance of the PU foams was tested under isothermal laboratory conditions showing higher thermal storage capacity in doped foams. Additionally, the higher energy storage capacity of the modified foams provides them greater thermal inertia.

This paper highlights application of the C-Therm TCi Thermal Conductivity Analyzer


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