Fire behavior of gypsum plasterboards enhanced with phase change materials: a CFD study

Dionysios Kolaitis, Eleni Asimakopoulou, Maria Founti

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Phase Change Materials (PCM) can be used for thermal energy storage, aiming to enhance building energy efficiency. Recently, gypsum plasterboards with incorporated paraffin-based PCM blends have become commercially available. In the event of a fire, building elements are exposed to substantially high temperatures; in this case, paraffins, exhibiting relatively low boiling points, may evaporate and, escaping through the gypsum plasterboard’s porous structure, emerge to the fire region, where they may ignite, thus adversely affecting the fire resistance characteristics of the building. Aiming to investigate the occurring physical phenomena, a CFD code is used to simulate a model room exposed to fire conditions, which is alternatively assumed to be clad with either “plain” or “PCM-enriched” gypsum plasterboards. The impact of PCM addition to the overall fire behaviour of gypsum plasterboards is investigated by utilizing predictions of the temporal evolution of wall surface temperature, gas mixture velocity and temperature. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) tests are performed to determine the main thermo-physical properties of PCM-enriched gypsum plasterboards. Numerical results show that PCM may indeed adversely affect the fire resistance characteristics of a gypsum plasterboard clad building.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012
EventInternational Conference of Fire Computer Modeling - University of Cantambria, Santander, Spain
Duration: 18 Oct 201219 Oct 2012


ConferenceInternational Conference of Fire Computer Modeling
Internet address


  • CFD modeling
  • Phase Change Material (PCM)
  • Fire


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