Experimental study about the impact of open cell aluminium foam (OCAF) insertion in salt-based phase change material (PCM) for electronics thermal management

Abdelrahman M. Elshaer, Mohamed S. Yousef, M. Kassab, A.A. Hawwash, A. M. A. Soliman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Thermal management of electronic components is a critical task in a harsh thermal environment. Spacecraft and satellites' electronics are susceptible to highly intermittent heating and cooling thermal conditions, which imposes challenges for robust thermal management system design. Phase change materials (PCM) are a promising solution for overcoming these challenges and enhancing thermal control performance. The lower PCM thermal conductivity and PCM supercooling limit PCM utilisation in electronic thermal control systems. The present study aims to provide solutions for enhancing the heat transfer within the PCM, boosting the PCM thermal conductivity, and diminishing the PCM supercooling. The open-cell aluminium foam (OCAF) was adopted for boosting the heat transfer within the PCM. A thermal management module (TMM) integrated with a salt-based PCM/OCAF composite was developed for electronics thermal management. The TMM was tested under intermittent thermal conditions of heating and cooling. An electric heater and Peltier cooler were affixed to the TMM for the heating and cooling process, respectively. Three levels of heat fluxes were adopted: 700, 1000, and 1400 W/m2. The heating process lasted one hour; then, the TMM was cooled by the Peltier element to the initial temperature. The research novelty covers the gap in understanding how OCAF affects salt-based PCM supercooling when subjected to varying heating loads during intermittent cycles. The outcomes reported a remarkable improvement in thermal management efficiency. The PCM-based TMM reduced the highest temperature by about 20.4 %, 21.6 %, and 23 % at the three heating levels. The OCAF diminished the PCM supercooling curiously. The reduction in PCM supercooling was 43.5 % compared to the 100 % PCM case obtained at the heat flux of 1400 W/m2.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102311
Number of pages13
JournalThermal Science and Engineering Progress
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental study about the impact of open cell aluminium foam (OCAF) insertion in salt-based phase change material (PCM) for electronics thermal management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this