Microencapsulated phase change materials (MicroPCMs) are very small bi-component particles consisting of a core material – the PCM - and an outer shell or capsule wall. PCMs are low melting materials with melt points in the range of -30°C to 55°C, that can absorb and release large amounts of heat. The capsule wall is an inert, stable polymer or plastic.
Micro PCM Phase Change Material / Phase Change Fabric For Thermal Management Solutions
About Phase Change Material
Phase Change Materials (PCMs) are ideal products for thermal management solutions. This is because they store and release thermal energy during the process of melting & freezing (changing from one phase to another). When such a material freezes, it releases large amounts of energy in the form of latent heat of fusion, or energy of crystallisation. Conversely, when the material is melted, an equal amount of energy is absorbed from the immediate environment as it changes from solid to liquid.
This property of PCMs can be used in a number of ways, such as thermal energy storage whereby heat or coolness can be stored from one process or period in time, and used at a later date or different location, for example in solar energy building. PCMs are also very useful in providing thermal barriers or insulation, for example in temperature controlled transport. PCM can also be incorporated in thermal regulation textiles to control temperature change.
Microencapsulation may be defined as the process of surrounding or enveloping one substance within another substance on a very small scale, yielding capsules ranging from less than one micron to several hundred microns in size. Microcapsules may be spherically shaped, with a continuous wall surrounding the core, while others are asymmetrically and variably shaped, with a quantity of smaller droplets of core material embedded throughout the microcapsule.
There are almost limitless applications for microencapsulated materials.One application increasingly utilized is the incorporation of microencapsulated phase change materials (PCMs). Phase change materials absorb and release heat in response to changes in environmental temperatures. When temperatures rise, the phase change material melts, absorbing excess heat, and feels cool. Conversely, as temperatures fall, the PCM releases heat as it solidifies, and feels warm. This property of microencapsulated phase change materials can be harnessed to increase the comfort level for users of sports equipment, military gear, bedding, clothing, building materials, and many other consumer products.