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Table 3

Possible solutions to current challenges faced by the use of PCM in concrete.

Problems Possible solutions
Loss of strength i. Use of the appropriate method of PCM incorporation into concrete
ii. Encapsulation of PCM to avoid contact with concrete alkali environment
iii. Encapsulation of PCM in irregular shapes instead of the current spheres and capsules
Flammability i. Use of non-flammable PCMs
ii. Addition of fire retardant admixtures
Ineffective phase change i. The packaging of PCM in shallow or thin containers
ii. Use of PCMs that do not super cool
iii. Using appropriate incorporation method to ensure that the PCMs are effectively incorporated and would work efficiently
iv. Using PCMs that have a phase change temperature of the required application e.g. PCM to be used in concrete for building construction should give a human comfort temperature (20–28 °C)
v. Addition of admixtures that enhances thermal conductivity
High volume change i. Use of PCMs in the required temperature range of application
ii. Use of inorganic PCMs when necessary
Leakage of PCM i. Using appropriate mixing method
ii. Encapsulation of PCMs
Super cooling i. Development of an ideal and effective storage system for salt hydrates
Corrosion of steel reinforcement i. Encapsulation of PCMs