Preparation and thermal properties of crosslinked polyurethane/lauric acid composites as novel form stable phase change materials with a low degree of supercooling
In this article, a series of crosslinked polyurethane/lauric acid composites was prepared as form stable phase change materials (FSPCMs) through a brief and solvent-free method. In the FSPCMs, lauric acid functioned as a phase change substance, and crosslinked polyurethane simultaneously functioned as a supporting material and phase change substance. Compared with traditional supporting materials in FSPCMs, the crosslinked polyurethane here obviously reduces the loss of latent heat from the supporting material and reduces the degree of supercooling of the obtained FSPCMs. The obtained FSPCMs were extensively studied by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), polarizing microscopy (POM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermal cycling tests and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The FTIR confirmed the chemical structure of the obtained FSPCMs. The XRD and POM results indicated that the FSPCMs exhibit comprehensive crystalline properties of polyurethane and lauric acid. DSC data showed that the FSPCMs have superior phase change properties with the phase change temperature and latent heat in the range of 26–38 °C and 90–131 J g−1. Moreover, low or no supercooling of the obtained FSPCMs was detected by DSC. The phase change temperature is suitable in the fields of solar energy saving and building engineering. Thermal cycling tests and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) proved the good thermal reliability and stability of the obtained FSPCMs.