Visualized-experimental investigation on the melting performance of PCM in 3D printed metal foam

Zhijie Zhou, Zhuohuan Hu, Dan Wang, Hongwei Wu

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In this article, a new composite phase change material (PCM) with metal foam based on three-dimensional (3D) printed technology has been proposed to reduce the structural parameter uncertainties of metal foam. The composite PCM melting performance was visualized systematically, while both the phase and temperature fields were obtained using photographic and infrared technology. The temperature variations of PCM at different distances from the heating surface on the same level as the internal wall were also captured. Experimental results indicated that: (i) the melting rate of the composite PCM could be significantly improved by 2.5 times when adding 3D printed ALSI10MG aluminium alloy metal foam with a porosity of 0.838; (ii) the phase change interface (PCI) and the temperature contour is similar to that of the metal foam frame; (iii) the enhancement of heat conduction of metal foam is greater than its hindrance to natural convection in composite PCM; (iv) the contact thermal resistance perpendicular to the heat transfer direction could slow down the phase change rate; (v) local thermal non-equilibrium exists between the 3D printed metal foam and PCM. The metal foam fabricated by 3D printed technology has the ability of enhance the heat transfer and the phase change for composite PCM.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalThermal Science and Engineering Progress
Early online date10 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


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