Abstract

This paper presents a microstructure-guided numerical homogenization technique to predict the effective thermal conductivity of a hierarchical cement-based material containing phase change material (PCM)-impregnated lightweight aggregates (LWA). Porous inclusions such as LWAs embedded in a cementitious matrix are filled with multiple fluid phases including PCM to obtain desirable thermal properties for building and infrastructure applications. Simulations are carried out on realistic three-dimensional microstructures generated using pore structure information. An inverse analysis procedure is used to extract the intrinsic thermal properties of those microstructural components for which data is not available. The homogenized heat flux is predicted for an imposed temperature gradient from which the effective composite thermal conductivity is computed. The simulated effective composite thermal conductivities are found to correlate very well with experimental measurements for a family of LWA-PCM composites considered in the paper. Comparisons with commonly used analytical homogenization models show that the microstructure-guided simulation approach provides superior results for composites exhibiting large property contrast between phases. By linking the microstructure and thermal properties of hierarchical materials, an efficient framework is available for optimizing the material design to improve thermal efficiency of a wide variety of heterogeneous materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Volume87
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Fingerprint

Phase change materials
Cements
Thermal conductivity
Microstructure
Thermodynamic properties
Computer simulation
Composite materials
Pore structure
Thermal gradients
Heat flux
Fluids
Hot Temperature

Keywords

  • Finite element
  • Lightweight aggregate
  • Microstructure
  • Numerical homogenization
  • Phase change materials (PCMs)
  • Thermal conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

Cite this

Microstructure-guided numerical simulations to predict the thermal performance of a hierarchical cement-based composite material. / Das, Sumanta; Aguayo, Matthew; Rajan, Subramaniam; Sant, Gaurav; Neithalath, Narayanan.

In: Cement and Concrete Composites, Vol. 87, 01.03.2018, p. 20-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Neithalath, Narayanan

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