The objective of this project is to develop a method to shape stabilize graphite nanofiber enhanced phase change materials for transient thermal management of naval electronics. Shape stabilization of PCM involves the addition of high density polymers to the PCM which creates an embedded support matrix for the PCM. This integral matrix forces the PCM to maintain a constant volume, preventing the 20% expansion and contraction seen during melting of standard paraffin PCMs. This makes it easy to mold the PCM energy storage materials and embed it in other supporting matrices such as building materials for energy storage.
This project will determine the effectiveness of various high density polyethylene and other high molecular weight polymers on PCM shape stabilization as measured by density change and will quantify the effect of polymer percent loading on PCM conductivity and nanofiber suspension.