New phase-changing composites fabricated using 3D printed technology can control inside temperatures of buildings, finds research

Industry Insights

World over, millions of people have witnessed the brunt of changing climate patterns. With climate fluctuations becoming commonplace, conventional power heating and cooling systems that eat on energy need to be fueled by innovative, energy-efficient alternatives, and lessen the burden on overwhelmed power grids, in turn.

Following a research initiative, researchers at the Texas A&M University have developed a new 3D printable phase-change material composites. Characteristically, the phase-change material can control surrounding temperatures inside buildings with a help of an easier and cost-effective manufacturing process. In addition, these composites can be combined with building materials such as 3D printed or 3D as decorative accents to seamlessly integrate into different interior environments.

Meanwhile, the ability to combine phase-change materials with building materials employing a scalable method opens opportunities to generate more passive temperature regulation for new as well as existing building structures.

The study is published in the June edition of the journal Matter.

For practical purposes, HVAC systems are most commonly used to control temperatures in commercial and residential establishments. However, on the downside, these system eat up a lot of energy, use greenhouse substances called refrigerants for generating dry, cool air. These drawbacks of HVAC systems have set off research for technologies and alternate materials that require less energy and can regulate temperature equivalent to HVAC systems.

In this scenario, phase-change materials have gained lot of interest for temperature regulation. Suggestively, these compounds change their physical state depending on the ambient temperature. Thus, at the time of storing heat, phase-change materials convert from solid to liquid at the time of absorbing heat, and vice versa when heat is released.

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