Development of a Vacuum Assist System to Enhance PCM Penetration into Carbon Foam

 

Previous studies using SEM images and quantitative analysis using a volume displacement test, have shown that the paraffin wax phase change material will not M effectively into carbon foam at atmospheric conditions.

The causes of the poor penetration appear to be that the cavities are oriented in a manner such that the trapped air cannot escape to be replaced by the PCM. Current investigations are evaluating the effectiveness of a vacuum assist method for PCM impregnation using a vacuum chamber. 

Foam samples used for imaging
Foam samples used for imaging
SEM image of carbon foam with PCM. This image shows an area of voids The connection to other voids can clearly still be seen in some voids showing that the PCM does not fully penetrate into the foam using standard techniques.
SEM image of carbon foam with PCM. This image shows an area of voids The connection to other voids can clearly still be seen in some voids showing that the PCM does not fully penetrate into the foam using standard techniques.