Thermal Analysis of Paper Board Packaging with Phase Change Material: A Numerical Study

Abstract

Phase change materials (PCM) absorb, store, and release thermal energy by changing phase, usually between solid and liquid, to maintain a regulated temperature. Compared with conventional sensible heat storage materials, PCMs can absorb or release large amount of heat without a significant change in temperature until the phase change process is complete. There are many potential applications of PCMs, including energy storage system, electronic/battery cooling, thermal management in buildings, and temperature controlled packaging. This study fundamentally explores the effect of the presence of PCMs on the heat transfer characteristics of packaging wall. The presence of PCM is studied in two different configurations: a layer of PCM embedded in the center of a paper board, and uniformly distributed PCM particles within a paper board. The numerical results presented here are based on a transient conjugate heat transfer analysis with natural convection present on the both sides of the packaging wall. A parametric study is performed on the PCM layer thickness to determine the impact of PCM on isolating the package interior temperature from ambient conditions over an extended time. The numerical results show significant reduction in the transfer of heat from the exterior to the interior of the packaging wall in the presence of PCM. This extends the time for the interior temperature to equalize with the exterior temperature under the operating conditions considered in this study.

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Abbreviations

\(c_\mathrm{p}\) :

Specific heat at constant pressure (J/kg K)

k :

Thermal conductivity (W/m K)

L :

Package horizontal length (m)

n :

Unit vector in outward normal direction

P :

Pressure (Pa)

\(q''\) :

Heat flux (W/m\(^2\))

s :

Saturation; volume of liquid per volume of voids

t :

Time (s)

T :

Temperature (\(^\circ C\))

u :

x-Component of velocity (m/s)

v :

y-Component of velocity (m/s)

x :

Horizontal Cartesian coordinate (m)

y :

Vertical Cartesian coordinate (m)

\(\delta\) :

Thickness (mm)

\(\rho\) :

Density (kg/m\(^3\))

\(\nu\) :

Kinematic viscosity (m\(^2\)/s)

\(\beta\) :

Thermal expansion coefficient (\(1/^\circ\)C)

\(\alpha\) :

Thermal diffusivity (m\(^2\)/s)

\(\varepsilon\) :

Paper board porosity

\(\phi\) :

Volumetric fraction coefficient of PCM

a:

Air

amb:

Ambient

eff:

Effective

f:

Fluid

F:

Fiber

int:

Initial

l:

Liquid

m:

Mean

ref:

Reference

s:

Solid

w:

Water

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Center for Advanced Research in Drying (CARD), an NSF Industry University Cooperative Research Center, jointly located at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Correspondence to Alireza Mahdavi Nejad.

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Mahdavi Nejad, A. Thermal Analysis of Paper Board Packaging with Phase Change Material: A Numerical Study. J Package Technol Res 3, 181–192 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41783-019-00060-1

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Keywords

  • Smart packaging
  • PCM
  • Conjugate heat transfer
  • Natural convection
  • Porous paper board