Los Alamos Women in Science
Northern Chapter of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering

co-sponsored by the Synergy Center
Talk at 12:00, Monday, November 6, 2006
Bldg 1, Los Alamos Research Park
Synergy Center Conference Room, 3rd flr

Phase Change Material in Floor Tiles for Thermal Energy Storage
Amy Lee, Mechanical Engineer

This research involved developing a floor tile containing a phase change material to be used for passive solar applications. The thermal storage of floor tile can be increased by the addition of encapsulated paraffin wax, while maintaining an appropriate level of structural strength. Encapsulated wax was selected due to its high latent heat and, non-reactive behavior with polyester resins. Prototype tiles were made from a mixture of quartz, polyester resin and encapsulated wax. A prototype tile containing 20% by mass of encapsulated octadecane was manufactured. Flexural and compressive strength of 7.4 MPa and 24.5 MPa respectively, were measured for the tile. Peak melting transition temperature was determined to be 27.2oC with a latent heat of 33.9 J/g of tile. Statistical modeling was performed to analyze the response of physical strength on varying amounts of quartz, resin and phase change material. With as little as 10% by mass of phase change material, the strength was reduced to less than 50% of tile without phase change.

Biography:   My master's work (Colorado State University, 1998) involved developing an educational web site for the internal combustion engine. I chose a completely different area of research for my doctorate (Colorado State University, 2005), although one that was closer to my passion, solar engineering - that work is the subject of this talk. I currently am at home with my children, but am hoping to return to work in the near future. Ideally I would love to start with part-time employment working my way up to full-time as the children get older. Areas I am interested in are solar and alternative energy engineering, thermodynamics, heat transfer, material testing and programming. I can be reached at al587439.05@engalumni.colostate.edu .

The room is reserved from 11:30 to 1:00 so people to can get together and network before and/or after the talk. Bring your lunch or pick up something at Hot Rocks Java Cafe on the 2nd floor. You are welcome to come early, late, or for just the talk at noon, and questions are encouraged!

Members and Nonmembers Welcome - Open to the Public

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