Erythritol as a phase change material has a main disadvantage: low thermal conductivity. In this paper, we proposed a novel erythritol/graphene composite phase change material and its thermal properties were predicted by molecular dynamics method. The effects of graphene mass fraction, size and number of layers on thermal conductivity were analyzed. The mechanism of graphene on thermal conductivity was revealed from the microscopic point of view. The results show that graphene can efficiently improve the thermal conductivity of the composites, thus improving the thermal properties of erythritol. The thermal conductivity of the composites increases with the increase of graphene amount, size and number of layers. When the mass fraction of graphene increased to 8 wt%, the thermal conductivity is doubled. This study can provide guidance for the design and application of erythritol-based composite phase change materials.
Keywords Erythritol, Composite phase change material, Thermal conductivity, Microscopic mechanism, Molecular dynamics simulation