Gypsum plasterboards enhanced with phase change materials: A fire safety assessment using experimental and computational techniques
Laboratory of Heterogeneous Mixtures and Combustion Systems, School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Heroon Polytechneiou St., Polytechneioupoli Zografou, Athens 15780, Greece
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Phase Change Materials (PCM) can be used for thermal energy storage, aiming to enhance building energy efficiency. Recently, gypsum plasterboards with incorporated paraffin-based PCM blends have become commercially available. In the high temperature environment developed during a fire, the paraffins, which exhibit relatively low boiling points, may evaporate and, escaping through the gypsum plasterboard's porous structure, emerge to the fire region, where they may ignite, thus adversely affecting the fire resistance characteristics of the building. Aiming to assess the fire safety behaviour of such building materials, an extensive experimental and computational analysis is performed. The fire behaviour and the main thermo-physical physical properties of PCM-enhanced gypsum plasterboards are investigated, using a variety of standard tests and devices (Scanning Electron Microscopy, Thermo Gravimetric Analysis, Cone Calorimeter). The obtained results are used to develop a dedicated numerical model, which is implemented in a CFD code. CFD simulations are validated using measurements obtained in a cone calorimeter. In addition, the CFD code is used to simulate an ISO 9705 room exposed to fire conditions, demonstrating that PCM addition may indeed adversely affect the fire safety of a gypsum plasterboard clad building.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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