Feasibility of using microencapsulated phase change materials as filler for improving low temperature performance of rubber sealing materials
The feasibility of a novel composite rubber sealing material to improve sealing under transient cooling (in a so-called blowdown scenario) is investigated here. A composite of hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) filled with Micro Encapsulated Phase Change Materials (MEPCM) is described. The fillers contain phase change materials that release heat during the phase transformation from liquid to solid while cooling. This exotherm locally heats the rubber and may improve the function of the seal during a blowdown event. A representative HNBR–MEPCM composite was made and the critical thermal and mechanical properties were obtained by simulating the temperature distribution during a blowdown event. Simulations predict that the MEPCM composites can delay the temperature decrease in a region of the seal during the transient blowdown. A sensitivity analysis of material properties is also presented which highlights possible avenues of improvement of the MEPCMs for sealing applications.