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Open AccessArticle

A Smart Epoxy Composite Based on Phase Change Microcapsules: Preparation, Microstructure, Thermal and Dynamic Mechanical Performances

1
SDCIC Construction Group Co., Ltd., Shenzhen 518038, China
2
Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518055, China
3
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ana Ines Fernandez Renna
Molecules 2019, 24(5), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050916
Received: 6 January 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 6 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phase Change Materials)
Microencapsulated phase change materials (MicroPCMs)-incorporated in epoxy composites have drawn increasing interest due to their promising application potential in the fields of thermal energy storage and temperature regulation. However, the study on the effect of MicroPCMs on their microstructure, thermal and viscoelastic properties is quite limited. Herein, a new type of smart epoxy composite incorporated with polyurea (PU)-shelled MicroPCMs was fabricated via solution casting method. Field emission-scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) images revealed that the MicroPCMs were uniformly distributed in the epoxy matrix. The thermal stabilities, conductivities, phase change properties, and dynamic mechanical behaviors of the composite were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermal constant analyzer and infrared thermography. The results suggested that the heat storage ability of the composites was improved by increasing the MicroPCMs content. The thermal stability of MicroPCMs was found to be enhanced after incorporation into the matrix, and the MicroPCMs-incorporated epoxy composites showed a good thermal cycling reliability. Moreover, the incorporation of MicroPCMs reduced the composites’ storage modulus but increased the glass transition temperature (Tg) as a result of their restriction to the chain motion of epoxy resin. Besides, a less marked heating effect for the composite was explored through infrared thermography analysis, demonstrating the good prospect for temperature regulation application. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase change materials; microcapsules; epoxy composites; dynamic mechanical properties; thermal regulation phase change materials; microcapsules; epoxy composites; dynamic mechanical properties; thermal regulation
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Hu, Q.; Chen, Y.; Hong, J.; Jin, S.; Zou, G.; Chen, L.; Chen, D.-Z. A Smart Epoxy Composite Based on Phase Change Microcapsules: Preparation, Microstructure, Thermal and Dynamic Mechanical Performances. Molecules 2019, 24, 916.

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