Preparation and thermal properties of palmitic acid/expanded graphite/carbon fiber composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage


Using palmitic acid (PA), expanded graphite (EG), and carbon fiber (CF) as raw materials, PA/EG/CF composite phase change materials (CPCMs) with diverse CF contents were invented by melt blending approach. The effects of different ratios on thermal properties were studied by experimental characterization and testing. Scanning electron microscopy images displayed that PA was adsorbed in the pores of the EG surface, while CF was disorderly but uniformly embedded in the interior and surface of pores. The chemical stability and thermal decomposition stability of CPCM at low temperature were proved by Fourier transform infrared spectrometer and thermogravimetric analyzer results, respectively. According to the law of heat storage/release time and latent heat variation, the optimal ratio scheme was determined, and its heat storage/release time was 65% and 59% lower than pure PA, respectively. The form-stable materials were prepared by compression forming method, and thermal cycling experiment results demonstrated that the higher the content of CF, the stronger the inhibition of mass loss. Based on the experimental results, the PA/EG/CF CPCM has the advantages of stable phase transition, strong stability, and fast heat storage and release rate, so it has a marvelous application prospect in the field of low-temperature heat storage engineering.

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Capric acid


Carbon-bonded carbon fiber


Carbon fiber


Carbon nanotubes


Composite phase change material


Differential scanning calorimeter


Expanded graphite


Ethylene-vinyl acetate


Foam graphite


Fourier transform infrared spectrometer




Graphene nanoplatelets


Lauric acid


Myristic acid


Mesoporous carbon


Palmitic acid


Phase change material


Root sum square


Stearic acid


Scanning electron microscopes


Thermogravimetric analyzer


X-ray powder diffractometer

ΔH :

Latent heat (kJ kg−1)

W :

Mass fraction (%)

R145 :

Mass fraction at 145 °C (%)

R400 :

Mass fraction of residue at 400 °C (%)

ΔW :

Mass loss rate (%)


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This research is jointly financed by the Science and Technology Development Plan Program of Jilin Province, China (No. 20180201008SF), and the Jilin Provincial Department of Education Research Program (No. JJKH20180434KJ).

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Correspondence to Baizhong Sun.

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Gao, L., Sun, X., Sun, B. et al. Preparation and thermal properties of palmitic acid/expanded graphite/carbon fiber composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage. J Therm Anal Calorim 141, 25–35 (2020).

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  • Carbon-based CPCM
  • Preparation
  • Thermal performance
  • Thermal energy storage