Study of the Thermal Properties and the Fire Performance of Flame Retardant-Organic PCM in Bulk Form

Materials (Basel). 2018 Jan 12;11(1):117. doi: 10.3390/ma11010117.


The implementation of organic phase change materials (PCMs) in several applications such as heating and cooling or building comfort is an important target in thermal energy storage (TES). However, one of the major drawbacks of organic PCMs implementation is flammability. The addition of flame retardants to PCMs or shape-stabilized PCMs is one of the approaches to address this problem and improve their final deployment in the building material sector. In this study, the most common organic PCM, Paraffin RT-21, and fatty acids mixtures of capric acid (CA), myristic acid (MA), and palmitic acid (PA) in bulk, were tested to improve their fire reaction. Several flame retardants, such as ammonium phosphate, melamine phosphate, hydromagnesite, magnesium hydroxide, and aluminum hydroxide, were tested. The properties of the improved PCM with flame retardants were characterized by thermogravimetric analyses (TGA), the dripping test, and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The results for the dripping test show that fire retardancy was considerably enhanced by the addition of hydromagnesite (50 wt %) and magnesium hydroxide (50 wt %) in fatty acids mixtures. This will help the final implementation of these enhanced PCMs in building sector. The influence of the addition of flame retardants on the melting enthalpy and temperatures of PCMs has been evaluated.

Keywords: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC); dripping test; flame retardants; phase change materials (PCMs); thermal energy storage (TES).