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.
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