By: Xing-Xiang Zhang and Na Han
Thermo-regulated fibres can response to ambient temperature and maintain the microclimate equilibrium. They can be applied in wide variety area, such as aerospace, military and medical etc. Many processing technologies for producing thermo-regulated fibre have been developed since 1971. There are still some defects and deficiencies in each method, however. With the aim at producing a environment friendly, high efficient and low costly thermo-regulated fibre, the scientists all over the world are exploring constantly.
Thermo-regulated fabrics are a kind of functional textile containing low temperature phase change materials (PCM) or microencapsulated phase change materials (MicroPCMs) , or a kind of block copolymer product with segments that change phase at low temperature .
The thermo-regulated fabric absorbs heat energy when the ambient temperature is higher than the melting temperature of PCM and slows down the temperature rise of the fabric. The fabric releases heat energy when the ambient temperature is lower than the crystallization temperature of PCM and slows down the temperature descending of the fabric. This cycle process of absorbing, storing and releasing latent heat maintains comfortable temperature equilibrium within the microclimate between the fabric and the skin.
Thermo-regulated fibres (TRF) have attracted more and more attention recently [1, 2]. Several manufacture processes, such as impregnating hollow or non-hollow fibres with PCM solution, wet-spinning, melt-spinning and electro-spinning, etc. were used to fabricate the thermo-regulated fibres. The benefits and drawbacks of every process were not reported, however. The structures and properties of these fibres were reviewed in this paper.
About the Authors
The authors are associated with Tianjin Municipal Key Lab of Fibres Modification and Functional Fibres, Institute of Functional Fibres, Tianjin Polytechnic University, China
The paper was presented at the 2008 International Scientific Conference on Smart Textiles. Courtesy: The University College of Boras, (CTF, The Swedish School of Textiles)
Originally published in New Cloth Market; May 2009