PCMs are able to change state at nearly a constant temperature and therefore store a large quantity of energy. The transfer of thermal energy occurs when a material changes from a solid to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid. This is called a change in state, or ‘phase’.
The operating temperature of the heating or cooling should be matched to the transition temperature of the PCM. Before applying PCMs, in most cases they have to be hermetically encapsulated in very small capsules to contain them while in a liquid state.
Adjustment of MikroCaps PCMs
- Size of the microcapsules from: 1 to 20 microns.
- Melting point from: -9 to 70°C.
- Type of membrane: Formaldehyde free capsules.
- Form: water-based dispersions.
PCMs for bedding accessories
Microcapsules embedded into quilts, pillows and mattress covers ensure active temperature control in bed.
When the temperature rises, the additional heat energy is absorbed and the body cools down.
When the temperature drops, the stored energy is released and the body is kept warm.
The incorporation of PCM in bedding accessories mainly proceeds by using foam techniques.
Hand touch non-coated foam and foam coated by MikroCapsPCM
PCMs for upholstered furniture
Natural leather and fabrics are attractive materials for applications in the furniture industry. Thermoregulating properties, as demanded by modern consumers, are added to the material.
PCMs for sportswear
Textiles containing PCMs react immediately to environmental or body temperature changes.
Active wear provides a thermal balance between the heat generated by the body and the heat released into the environment while doing sports. The heat generated by the body during sports activity is often not released into the environment in the necessary amount, thus increasing thermal stress.
When PCMs are incorporated into sportswear, during physical activity excessive body heat increases and is absorbed by the encapsulated PCMs and released when necessary.
The incorporation of PCMs into sportswear textiles
Microcapsules are mostly applied to textile by impregnation using a crosslinking agent followed by drying and curing steps. Crosslinking agents fix the microcapsules, and keep them fixed during laundering. Several kinds of fabrics can be impregnated with microcapsules, such as silk, cotton or synthetic fibres (polyamide or polyester).
PCMs for automotive
There are two different ways to use PCMs for automotive:
- PCMs in air-conditioning systems in cars,
- PCMs in temperature management of batteries for electric mobility,
- PCMs on the car fabric and foams (roof, seats) and
- PCMs on/in engine parts for better efficiency.
Heating car after 50 minutes without PCM and with PCM
PCMs for buildings
There are basically three different ways to use PCMs for heating and cooling buildings:
- PCMs in building walls,
- PCMs in building components other than walls and
- PCMs in heat and cold storage units.