Thermochimica Acta, Vol.544, 63-70, 2012
Preparation and properties of polystyrene encapsulated paraffin wax as possible phase change material in a polypropylene matrix
The study deals with the preparation and characterization of polystyrene (PS) capsules containing Fischer-Tropsch paraffin wax (PS:wax) as phase change material (PCM) for thermal energy storage embedded in a polypropylene (PP) matrix. Blends of PP/PS:wax were prepared without and with polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-ran-butylene)-block-polystyrene (SEBS) as a modifier. The influence of PS:wax microcapsules on the morphology, as well as thermal and mechanical properties of the PP was investigated. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the microencapsulated PCM show that the capsules were grouped in irregular spherical agglomerates of size 16-24 mu m. However, after melt-blending with PP smaller, perfectly spherical microcapsules were well dispersed in the PP matrix. There was fairly good interaction between the microcapsules and the matrix, even in the absence of SEBS modification. The FTIR spectrum of the microcapsules is almost exactly the same as that of polystyrene, which indicates that the microcapsules were mostly intact and that the FUR only detected the polystyrene shell. The amount of wax in the PS:wax microcapsules was determined as 20-30% by weight. An increase in PS:wax content resulted in a decrease in the melting peak temperatures of PP. The thermal stability of the blends decreased with an increase in PS:wax microcapsules content as a consequence of the lower thermal stability of both the wax and PS. There was a drop in storage modulus with increasing PS:wax microcapsules content. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.