Building fire behavior implementing gypsum plasterboards containing phase change materials: a CFD study

Dionysios Kolaitis, Eleni Asimakopoulou, Maria Founti

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The incorporation of Phase Change Materials (PCM) into building elements may affect favourably the overall building energy consumption. Common PCM added to gypsum plasterboards consist of paraffins. In the event of a fire, building elements may be exposed to substantially high temperatures; paraffins, exhibiting relatively low boiling points, may evaporate and, escaping through the plasterboard’s porous structure, emerge to the fire region, where they may ignite, thus adversely affecting the fire resistance characteristics of the
building. In this study, detailed numerical simulations of the developing flow and thermal fields in a model room exposed to fire conditions are performed using a CFD tool; the turbulent flow is described using the LES approach. The impact of PCM addition to the overall fire behaviour of gypsum plasterboards is investigated by means of a parametric study; the model room is assumed to be clad with either “plain” gypsum plasterboards or PCM-enriched gypsum plasterboards. Detailed predictions of the temporal evolution of wall surface temperature, gas mixture velocity and temperature, species concentrations and smoke movement are utilized to assess the effect of PCM addition to the gypsum plasterboard.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2011
EventGRACM International Congress on Computational Mechanics: GRACM - Athens, Greece
Duration: 30 Jun 20112 Jul 2011
Conference number: 7


ConferenceGRACM International Congress on Computational Mechanics
Internet address


  • CFD
  • Fire
  • gypsum plasterboard
  • Phase Change Material (PCM)


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