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Abstract: In this thesis study, the Hot Disk TPS 500 sensor was used to characterize polymer encapsulated paraffin waxes as phase change materials (PCM). The main purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the polystyrene (PS) and PS: wax microcapsules on the morphology and thermal, mechanical and conductivity properties of the polypropylene matrix. Post-melting, the PP microcapsules were extremely well dispersed within the matrix and there was a strong interaction between them and the matrix. It was determined that an increase in the PS:wax microcapsule content of the matrix, resulted in a lower melting peak temperature, a decrease in the thermal stability of the matrix and a lower thermal conductivity. The mobility of the polymer chains was enhanced by the microcapsules. However, with the PCM storage capacity being greatly reduced when the PS was encapsulated in the wax this renders this material as an inefficient PCM.

Reference: Masters Thesis - University of the Free State  (2011)