Nanotech 2010

Preparation, properties and thermal control applications of silica aerogel infiltrated with solid-liquid phase change materials

Z. Xiangfa, X. Hanning, F. Jian, Z. Changrui, J. Yonggang
HuNan University, CN

Keywords: aerospace materials, Electron microscopy, Sol-gel process, Thermal properties, Phase change materials (PCM)


In the present work, silica aerogel saturated with erythritol as phase change materials (PCMs) was prepared by melt infiltration. The properties of the composite were determined by scanning electronic microscope (SEM), Fourier transformation infrared spectroscope (FTIR) and differential scanning calorimeter (DSC). In the novel composite, using of erythritol with high latent heat of fusion as the PCMs for thermal control purposes, and nanoporous silica aerogel were prepared as the phase change matrix to provide structural strength and prevent the leakage of melted erythritol. Nitrogen gas adsorption curves and SEM indicated pore structure of silica aerogel was porous and connected each other. FTIR indicated composite formation of silica aerogel and erythritol were physical; DSC determined the melting point and heat storage capacity of the composite to be 123.8℃ and 289.92kJ/kg, respectively. The thermal protection properties of the phase-change composites were designed in the laboratory conditions via using a thermal measurement setup under a simulated thermal environment of the aircraft. The phase-change composite produced here can be useful for thermal protection applications. The erythritol-silica aerogel composite controlled the temperature rapidly rising by absorbing heat under a high heat environment compared to the paraffin-silica aerogel composite.
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