Use of phase change materials for thermal energy storage in concrete: An overview

Tung Chai Ling, Chi Sun Poon

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

249 Citations (Scopus)


The possible incorporation of phase change materials (PCMs) in building materials has attracted a lot of research interest worldwide due to the concern on global warming and the ability of PCMs to reduce energy consumption in building because of their thermal energy storage abilities. As a substance with a high heat of fusion, PCM is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy in the form of heat during its melting and solidifying processes at the specific transition temperature. For the past 20 years, significant research has been undertaken on the potential use of PCMs in concrete. The results showed that PCM-concrete has some useful characteristics such as better latent heat storage and thermal performance. On the other hand, PCMs have some negative impacts on the properties of concrete. However, the negative impacts can be minimized if an appropriate PCM and a suitable means of incorporation are employed during the production of the PCM-concrete. In this paper, a general review of different types of PCMs, means of their incorporation and the influence of PCMs on the properties of concrete at the fresh and hardened stages are reviewed. The stability of the PCMs, the problems in relation to using them in concrete, as well as their thermal performance in concrete are also presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013


  • Concrete
  • Mechanical properties
  • Phase change materials
  • Thermal energy storage
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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