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Trainees develop nanomaterials

Trainee Achievements

Trainees develop nanomaterials

Graham and Mallow are developing nanomaterials to enhance the thermal energy charging rates of phase change materials used for thermal energy storage. They developed a hierarchical structure which resulted in the enhancement of thermal charging rates of paraffin wax by suspending exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets in paraffin with improved stability. This composite mixture was then impregnated into a highly conductive foam to further increase the heat transfer rate into the paraffin. Both aluminum metal foams and compressed expanded natural graphite foam sponges were utilized showing superior performance to simply infiltrating with pure paraffin wax. These materials are currently being modeled and prepared for scale up for use in heat exchanger designs for improving the efficiency of appliances. Talks with two companies are underway and transfer of the technology to Oak Ridge National Laboratories has begun. A paper is in preparation and an invention disclosure will be filed.