Practical applications of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) often require their encapsulation in other materials, such as metals or plastics. This raises the issue of compatibility between PCMs and encapsulating materials, which has still not been sufficiently addressed. The study presented here follows existing research and provides experimental evaluation of the suitability of selected PCMs for proposed integration in building structures. Two organic PCMs, two inorganic PCMs and three representative plastics (polypropylene (PP-H), high density polyethylene (PE-HD) and polyvinylchloride (PVC-U)) were selected for compatibility tests. Evaluation of the results is based on the mass variations of the plastic samples during the test period. Plastic samples were immersed in PCMs and subjected to periodic heating and cooling (for 16 weeks) in a small environmental chamber simulating real operational conditions. The results show that the organic PCMs have a greater ability to penetrate the PE-HD and PP-H compared with the inorganic PCMs. The penetration of all PCMs was most notable during the first four weeks of the experiment. Later it slowed down significantly. Overall, the mass changes in PE-HD and PP-H samples did not exceed 6.9% when immersed in organic PCMs and 1.8% in inorganic PCMs. PVC-U samples exhibited almost negligible (less than 0.1%) mass variation in all cases.
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