In this work, the influence of molecular parameters of styrene-b-(ethylene-co-butylene)-b-styrene (SEBS) triblock copolymer as matrix material in form-stable phase change material (FSPCM) on the thermo-mechanical properties and leakage behavior are studied. Various SEBS grades differing in their molecular weight, styrene content, and ethylene/butylene ratio are used as supporting matrix in composites with 90 wt.% paraffin. Thermo-mechanical properties are determined by rheological measurements. The results show phase transitions temperatures from solid to hard gel, hard gel to soft gel, and soft gel to gel fluid. Paraffin leakage in FSPCM is analyzed by mass loss over time in an oven at 60 °C. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) are applied to determine the thermal energy storage capacity. Finally, the molecular weight and the styrene content are combined to the molecular weight of styrene block which is identified as the authoritative parameter for the thermo-mechanical properties of the SEBS/PCM composite.
Keywords: SEBS; form-stable phase change material; hexadecane; leakage; paraffin; phase change material; phase transition; shape stability mechanism; thermal energy storage.