Albright, G., Farid, M. & Al-Hallaj, S. J Therm Anal Calorim (2010) 101: 1155. doi:10.1007/s10973-010-0805-x
The use of phase change materials (PCMs) in thermal storage is not a new concept, but engineers are continually finding new ways to utilize them in a wide range of applications. A PCM takes advantage of high latent heat in the phase change process to store large amounts of heat while undergoing only a small change in temperature. This property makes PCMs suitable for thermal storage purposes in a wide range of engineering applications. Due to the nature of these applications, it is vital to have a precise knowledge of the thermal characteristics of any PCM. Unfortunately, due to the low thermal conductivities and high latent heats found in PCMs, current measuring tools such as differential scanning calorimetry, provide inconsistent results. This paper conjectures that these errors come from the effects of low thermal diffusivity samples as well as improper data analysis methods.