Doctoral Dissertations


Wenyu Liao

Keywords and Phrases

Concrete; Geothermal system; Pavement; Phase change material (PCM); Thermal energy storage; Thermochemical material (TCM)


In this work, several types of novel thermal energy storage (TES) materials and composites are explored, and a series of numerical simulation models and experimental protocols are developed to evaluate the potentials of these materials to be applied in concrete, pavement, and thermal energy storage systems.

The first two types of novel TES materials/composites are at the micro-scale, which use micro diatomite (DE) and cenosphere (Ceno) as carriers of phase change material (PCM), respectively. The third type of novel TES material is at the macro-scale, utilizing lightweight sand (LWS) and lightweight coarse aggregate as carriers to load PCM. The last two types of novel TES materials are solid-solid PCM (SSPCM, i.e., PEG-PMDI-Graphite composite) and thermochemical material (TCM, i.e., struvite-K).

The above multi-scale TES materials and composites can be used independently or in combination, according to application scenarios. To evaluate performance of TES materials in various scenarios, numerical simulation frameworks and experimental protocols have been developed and implemented. Three representative scenarios (i.e., thermal cracking control for concrete, thermal curling mitigation for pavement, and TES enhancement for geothermal systems) have been selected for study in this work.

The studies presented in this work show that PCMs and TCMs are technically feasible in mitigating thermal degradations of concrete and enhancing efficiencies of TES systems. They have promising marketability upon they can be economically available”--Abstract, page iii.


Ma, Hongyan

Committee Member(s)

Khayat, Kamal
Liu, Jenny
Myers, John J.
Kumar, Aditya


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Civil Engineering


Financial support from the NSF and the CIES at S&T is greatly acknowledged.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2021


xxiii, 329 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 290-328).


© 2021 Wenyu Liao, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11954