Meet the teams: HyMPaCt

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis!

The HyMPaCt team is composed of one PhD student and one Bachelor student from the University of Pisa in Italy, as well as one PhD student from INSA de Lyon in France. The team aims to investigate the thermal behaviour of a Composite Metal Foam/Paraffin Wax Material in Hypergravity Conditions.

Thermal Characterisation of a Composite Metal foam/Paraffin Wax Material in Hypergravity Conditions

University University of Pisa, Italy; INSA of Lyon, France; University of Napoli, Italy
Endorsing professor Prof. Sauro Filippeschi (Universi ty of Pisa), Prof. Dominique Baillis (INSA of Lyon), Prof. Nicola Bianco (University of Napoli)
Team Alessandro Simone Viglione, Emanuele Bucci, Salvatore Cunsolo
Team logo
Team logo

The purpose of the HyMPaCt project is to study the effects of different hypergravity levels on the thermal behaviour of a metal foam/paraffin wax composite, which can be used for the thermal management and the heat storage, both for space and ground applications, during its melting and solidification process.

The storage of thermal energy via phase-change-materials (PCMs) is particularly enticing as it provides benefits including the temperature control and the high thermal energy storage density. However, the PCMs are characterised by a relatively low thermal conductivity (around 0.4W/(m·K)), which does not allow high energy storage performance. The issue has been resolved using the high conductivity of Metal Foam.  In fact, it allows a larger fraction of the PCM to melt, increasing the energy storage performance. Metal Foam/Paraffin wax materials have not been investigated in hypergravity conditions.  They can be found in many technological fields, from automotive to aerospace as well as bio-medicals and  chemistry.  It is therefore important to understand how different gravity levels influence the thermal behaviour of these composite materials, in order to choose the best metal foam characteristics for each particular environment.

The team's experiment report is available here.