Phase Change Materials now also in Aerated Cement Blocks

Phase change materials can absorb extreme summer heat, in this way ensuring pleasant room temperatures. This means air conditioning costs can be significantly lowered or with optimal planning eliminated completely. H+H Celcon, which manufactures aircrete products, has now incorporated BASF’s Micronal® PCM phase change materials into aerated cement blocks for the first time. This substantially increases the heat storage capacity of its CelBloc Plus blocks.

Thanks to its porous structure, the construction material aerated cement has excellent thermal and acoustic insulating as well as fire resistant properties. Incorporating the phase change material Micronal® PCM enhances the heat storage capacity of the aerated cement and hence of the structures built with it. The result is that buildings based on modern light construction principles have a significantly improved and healthier indoor climate. Accordingly, H+H Celcon’s product line goes by the name of ‘Human and Healthy’. More information is available at www.hhcelcon.de, www.human-healthy.de or celcon.co.uk. The blocks are recognizable by their characteristic green color, something they have another BASF product to thank for: a pigment from the Xfast® brand.

The development of these aerated cement blocks using Micronal® PCM is the result of the successful collaboration between BASF und H+H Celcon. Robert Klemm, product manager at H+H Celcon, would love to plan another project with BASF: “Our success is also BASF’s success. Even in the run-up to the project, we launched and evaluated a joint series of tests. We also found BASF to be a reliable partner with excellent knowledge of the industry and we were impressed by its professional attitude in every respect.”

Phase-change material Micronal® PCM – innovative microencapsulation
BASF’s Micronal® PCM is a microencapsulated latent heat storer that works according to the following principle: microscopically small polymer capsules containing a pure wax storage medium at their core, so-called phase-change materials, are inserted into the gypsum wall boards during production. If the room temperature exceeds the switching temperature of 26 degrees Celsius set during production, the wax inside the microcapsules melts and absorbs the excess heat.

If on the other hand it falls, the wax becomes solid and the capsules release their heat again. The temperature differences between night and day ensure the alternating sequence of melting and solidifying. In this way, Micronal® PCM helps to absorb daytime temperature peaks. “Thanks to this innovation, aerated cement blocks are transformed into functional construction components – a sensible investment that improves home comfort and in this way contributes to maintaining the value of the entire building”, says Mike Zott, product manager for Micronal® PCM in BASF’s Regional Business Unit Adhesives and Construction Industry Europe.

Micronal® PCM: multi-purpose applications
Micronal® PCM can also be used in other construction materials, such as plaster or gypsum wall boards, textured finishes and finishing systems and compounds. Construction materials containing BASF phase change materials are impervious to grinding, drilling and cutting. Thanks to their robustness, the microcapsules are virtually indestructible. This means that Micronal® PCM-modified building materials retain their functionality for decades without having to be renewed.

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