How phase change materials work

At the core of each microscopically small plastic sphere is a wax storage medium. When the temperature rises, the wax melts and the phase-change material absorbs heat. When the temperature drops, the wax solidifies, and heat is emitted. During the phase change, the temperature remains constant. Phase change materials (PCMs) therefore take their name from their mechanism of action. Owing to their unique microencapsulation technology, BASF's PCMs can be integrated invisibly into the most diverse of construction materials, thus lending them their impressive properties.


Phase change materials are able to absorb heat, store it and release it at a later date.


 

 

Ice cubes are an illustrative example of how phase change materials work: as they melt in a drink, they absorb heat from their environment; as they solidify in the freezer compartment, they release heat into it. During the change from the solid to the liquid phase and vice-versa, the material's temperature remains constant at 0 °C. This hidden heat stored in the phase change is termed latent heat.

Intelligent temperature management
Their active temperature compensation mechanism enables construction materials such as wall plaster or wallboards which have been modified by means of phase change materials to contribute to perfect room conditions.

Proven in practice
Micronal® PCM has demonstrated its effectiveness in practical use in diverse projects. In addition, a 16-month cyclic test involving 24 temperature cycles per day has attested to a minimum life of 30 years for the material. Its leaktightness and thermal storage characteristics remained unchanged throughout the test period.

 

 

The development of microencapsulated PCM was kindly state-aided by the Ministery of Economics and Technology, FKZ 0329840 A-D and FKZ 0327370F-I.

 

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