College of Engineering


Materials Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Materials Engineering




Dr. Jean Lee


The overall purpose of this study was to find a phase change material (PCM) or a combination of PCMs as a thermal management solution for the fifth-floor study rooms in Kennedy Library. First and foremost, the PCM must take in heat to change phase. A PCM would be a better candidate the more heat it needs to change phase. To quantify this, the team utilized a DSC to find how much energy each candidate PCM required to change phase. Coconut oil, palm oil, and white chocolate were found to have the best ability to absorb heat. Secondly, the PCM should not hinder a study environment by blocking much light entering a room or having a dull color. Most of the team’s candidate PCMs had intriguing colors or phase transition already, but the anhydrous salt was a dull color that didn’t change during the phase transition. To aid the aesthetic appeal of this candidate PCM, an XRF and XRD were used to introduce F-center defects to change the color of the salt. This failed to produce a color change in the salt. The final step for the project is implementation. The team involved several architecture members whose tasks were to find a housing system for the final PCM(s). Glass tiles with a hollow space inside to house the PCM is the team’s proposed solution.