Thermal response of mortar panels with different forms of macro-encapsulated phase change materials: a finite element study

Sih Ying Kong, Xu Yang, Suvash Chandra Paul, Leong Sing Wong, Branko Šavija

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a numerical investigation of thermal response of mortar panels, incorporating macro-encapsulated paraffin in different forms. Two types of macro capsules were fabricated and tested in this study using an instrumented hot plate device. The experimental results show that macro encapsulated paraffin reduced the temperature and increased time lag in the mortar panels due to the latent heat capacity of paraffin. Finite element models adopting the effective heat capacity method to model phase change effects were able to capture the overall thermal response of panels incorporated with paraffin well. Then, a parametric study was conducted using the validated finite element (FE) modelling technique to investigate the effects of different forms of macro capsules, the quantity of paraffin and the position of macro capsules. It was found that the tube and sphere macro capsules showed similar thermal responses, while the plate shaped capsules may cause a non-uniform temperature distribution in mortar panels. The quantity and position of paraffin have significant effects on the thermal response of the mortal panels. A higher paraffin content results in a significantly longer temperature lag and a lower temperature during the phase transition of paraffin. Furthermore, placing the paraffin away from the heating face can cause a longer temperature lag on the other face, which is desirable for building façade applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2636
Number of pages15
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Finite element (FE) analysis
  • Macro capsules
  • Mortar
  • Phase change materials

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