0223 GMT April 22, 2019
Iranian researchers at Amir Kabir University of Technology (AUT) produced nanocomposites that can be used as heat regulating insulators for thermal energy management in the construction and textile manufacture industries.
Dr. Majid Montazer, an associate professor at AUT, told ISNA that advances have been made in the use of phase-change material (PCM) — a developing substance — in the field of thermal energy storage, adding, "In these researches, using nanotechnology, we undertook efforts to improve the efficiency of PCMs and address their shortcomings."
The researcher said the synthesis method used in these studies was simple, inexpensive, single-stage and fast.
Commenting on the advantages of the technique, he said in this method there is no need for electrospinning processes, nano- and microencapsulation, polymerization, using solvent and synthesizin or separate preparation of nanoparticles.
The Iranian researcher added among other advantages are the reduced number of stages and time of the process and the method being ecofriendly.
Montazer noted that a PCM is a substance which, melting and solidifying at a certain temperature, is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy.
“Organic PCM is among the developing substances in this field, which, despite its numerous advantages, has two major problems: 1. Leakage and release of materials during the melting and freezing processes and 2. Poor thermal conductivity.”
Therefore, he added, in this project, by creating a nanocomposite structure using copper nanoparticles and polyester fibers, in addition to resolving the problems caused by fatty acids, the efficiency of PCM was also improved to an optimum level.
Elaborating on the project, the associate professor said the assessment of the synthesized nanocomposite falls into two categories: The first phase is related to conducting characterization tests to confirm the presence of copper nanoparticles in the final structure employing electron microscopy, elemental analysis tests, X-ray diffraction and infrared spectrophotometry.
“In the second stage, the thermal performance of the nanocomposite structure was evaluated using differential scanning calorimetry techniques, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and thermal conductivity testing.”
Montazer said the generated structure maintains its durability and thermal stability after going through 100 heating-cooling cycles, adding the produced textile nanocomposites are used as temperature regulator insulators for thermal energy management in the construction, textile, polymer and material packaging industries.
The results of the study have been published in the Applied Energy Journal.