PCM supported thermo-regulated garments

Danmei Sun, George Stylios, Alex Milton, David Corne and Theodore Lim

A phase change material (PCM) is capable of storing and releasing large amounts of energy. Heat is absorbed or released when the material changes from solid to liquid and vice versa. Microencapsulated phase change materials (MicroPCM) can be integrated into fabrics. Thermal properties of PCM supported fabrics are related to changes in temperature and time, by discharging or absorbing heat of the MicroPCM as they oscillate between solid and liquid form. Therefore, garments made of PCM fabrics are able to keep the wearers in a relatively temperature stable micro-environment. The aim of this proposed research is to design a thermo-regulating garment using developed PCM fabric. Fabric structures will be studied and designed to be able to carry sufficient amount of PCM and provide an appropriate heat transfer to and from the PCM. The designed fabric/garment performance such as the heat capacity, thermal strength and some mechanical properties relating to comfort will be studied. The developed technique from this research will be applied on one of very demanding applications.