Experimental and numerical studies of thermoregulating textiles incorporated with phase change materials
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Phase change materials (PCMs) provide thermal management solution to textiles for the protection of wearer from extreme weather conditions. PCMs are the substances which can store or release a large amount of energy in the form of latent heat at certain melting temperature. This research reports practical and theoretical studies of textiles containing PCMs. Mono and multifilament filaments incorporated with microencapsulated phase change material (MPCM) have been developed through melt spinning process. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) have been performed for the characterisation of MPCM polypropylene filaments. The parameters for optimum fibre processing and their effect on mechanical properties of filaments with respect to the amount of MPCM have also been studied. A plain woven fabric has been constructed using the developed MPCM multifilament yarn. The heat transfer property of the multifilament yarn and fabric has been investigated using finite element method. The time dependent thermoregulating effect of yarn and fabric incorporated with MPCM has also been predicted according to the validated models. The synthesis of Nanocapsules containing mixture of paraffins and Glauber’s salt as PCM and its characterisation using DSC and SEM has also been carried out. Polypropylene monofilament incorporated with the nanoencapsulated paraffins was developed and its properties have been compared to its MPCM counterpart. Furthermore the developed nanocapsules were applied on a cotton fabric via a pad-dry-cure process and the resultant fabric was evaluated using DSC and SEM in comparison with MPCM treated fabric. The research work described in this thesis has established a better understanding of use of phase change materials in textiles, the evaluation and application. It is anticipated that this research will broaden the understanding and potential use of encapsulated phase change materials in textiles especially in the field of active smart textiles.