Mechanical and Thermal Performance of Macro-Encapsulated Phase Change Materials for Pavement Application

Materials (Basel). 2018 Aug 10;11(8):1398. doi: 10.3390/ma11081398.


Macro-encapsulated phase change material (PCM) lightweight aggregates (ME-LWA) were produced and evaluated for their mechanical and thermal properties in road engineering applications. The ME-LWAs were first characterised in terms of their physical and geometrical properties. Then, the ME-LWAs were investigated in detail by applying the European Standards of testing for the Bulk Crushing Test and the Polished Stone Value (PSV) coefficient as well as Micro-Deval and laboratory profilometry. In addition, the thermal performance for possible construction of smart pavements with the inclusion of ME-LWAs for anti-ice purposes was determined. The crushing resistance of the ME-LWAs was improved, while their resistance to polishing was reduced. Thermal analysis of the encapsulated PCM determined it to possess excellent thermal stability and a heat storage capacity of 30.43 J/g. Based on the research findings, the inclusion of ME-LWAs in surface pavement layers could be considered a viable solution for the control of surface temperatures in cold climates. Road safety and maintenance could benefit in terms of reduced ice periods and reduced treatments with salts and other anti-ice solutions.

Keywords: crushing test; lightweight aggregates; macro-encapsulation; phase change materials; road application; thermal performance.