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Open AccessArticle

Effect of PCM on the Hydration Process of Cement-Based Mixtures: A Novel Thermo-Mechanical Investigation

1
CIRIAF—Interuniversity Research Center, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 63, 06125 Perugia, Italy
2
Department of Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Perugia, Via G. Duranti 93, 06125 Perugia, Italy
4
GREiA Research Group, INSPIRES Research Centre, Universitat de Lleida, Pere de Cabrera s/n, 25001 Lleida, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(6), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11060871
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Smart Materials for the Built Environment)
The use of Phase Change Material (PCM) for improving building indoor thermal comfort and energy saving has been largely investigated in the literature in recent years, thus confirming PCM’s capability to reduce indoor thermal fluctuation in both summer and winter conditions, according to their melting temperature and operation boundaries. Further to that, the present paper aims at investigating an innovative use of PCM for absorbing heat released by cement during its curing process, which typically contributes to micro-cracking of massive concrete elements, therefore compromising their mechanical performance during their service life. The experiments carried out in this work showed how PCM, even in small quantities (i.e., up to 1% in weight of cement) plays a non-negligible benefit in reducing differential thermal increases between core and surface and therefore mechanical stresses originating from differential thermal expansion, as demonstrated by thermal monitoring of cement-based cubes. Both PCM types analyzed in the study (with melting temperatures at 18 and 25 C) were properly dispersed in the mix and were shown to be able to reduce the internal temperature of the cement paste by several degrees, i.e., around 5 C. Additionally, such small amount of PCM produced a reduction of the final density of the composite and an increase of the characteristic compressive strength with respect to the plain recipe. View Full-Text
Keywords: cement hydration; thermally efficient concretes; cement-based composites; concrete curing; phase change material; mechanical properties; thermal characterization; smart material cement hydration; thermally efficient concretes; cement-based composites; concrete curing; phase change material; mechanical properties; thermal characterization; smart material
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Fabiani, C.; Pisello, A.L.; D’Alessandro, A.; Ubertini, F.; Cabeza, L.F.; Cotana, F. Effect of PCM on the Hydration Process of Cement-Based Mixtures: A Novel Thermo-Mechanical Investigation. Materials 2018, 11, 871.

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