New phase change materials (PCMs) are promising fillers for the realization of multifunctional concretes, combining good mechanical properties with enhanced thermal storage capabilities within building envelope. These materials are currently receiving a growing interest in the scientific literature. Encapsulated PCMs result particularly suitable for applications in concrete. This paper presents a research on concretes doped with different contents of PCMs, up to the 5% of the total weight. Physical, mechanical and thermal experimental tests were carried out, in order to investigate the physical properties, the stress-strain behaviour, the ductility, the compressive strength, as well as the thermal conductivity, the diffusivity and the specific heat capacity of the novel concretes. The results of thermal tests demonstrated the effective enhancement of the thermal inertia of the materials, while mechanical tests showed performances compatible with structural applications. Overall, new multifunctional concretes with PCM inclusions appear promising for achieving sustainable and lightweight concrete structures.
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Acknowledgments are due to the “CIRIAF program for UNESCO” in the framework of the UNESCO Chair “Water Resources Management and Culture”. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 657466 (INPATH-TES). The authors also thank the Microtek Laboratories, Inc. for providing the capsulated materials. The work is also partially funded by the Spanish government (ENE2015-64117-C5-1-R). Prof. Luisa F. Cabeza would like to thank the Catalan Government for the quality accreditation given to her research group (2014 SGR 123).
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