Innovation: Novel Temperature Regulating Fibres And Garments

Last update: 30.06.2013
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Keywords: 
melt spinning, phase changing materials, thermal radiation, temperature regulating fibres, pcm, environmental protection, materials technology, fibres, biotechnology, nanotechnology research, cellulose, nanotechnology applications, other technology, thermal management, textiles, wet spinning, nanotechnology and nanosciences, polymers, garments
The objective of the project is to develop novel temperature regulating fibres and innovative textile products for thermal management, selected by the SME segment of the textile industry in Europe. The temperature regulating effect is achieved by novel methods of incorporating large amounts of phase changing materials (PCM) in textile fibres. When the body temperature increases, the PCM melts and absorbs the heat from the body in the form of latent heat. Then, when the temperature drops, the PCM crystallizes and the stored heat is released again.

Clothes with built-in thermo-regulating properties provide maintained thermal comfort in difficult thermal environment and physical activity situations, without putting on or taking off clothes. Such smart clothing would reduce discomfort caused by accumulation of sweat/moisture in the clothing, and also shivering during varying activity levels and ambient conditions. The innovative concepts to be developed will outperform presently available materials for thermal management in garments. The concept is based on two main ideas. One idea is based on processing concepts that rely on compounding/mixing steps to provide suitable rheological properties of complex mixtures of polymers and PCMs followed by bi-component melt spinning to fibres with a core/sheath structure confining the PCM to the core. New bio-based (PLA) and conventional synthetic polymers for fibres (PP, PET, PA) are here addressed.

The second idea is based on a new concept for incorporating PCMs in wet spun cellulose fibres based on direct addition of free PCM to a cellulose solution. A large and intense part of the project will be devoted to product related research, lead by the SMEs in the project. In particular, specific, value-added products are targeted within underwear, sports, leisure and home textiles. The work will aid in the transformation of the European textile and clothing industry from commodities into specific, value-added high-tech products.

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Noterefiga aims at developing novel temperature regulating fibres and textile products for thermal management. The temperature regulating effect is achieved by novel methods of incorporating large amounts of phase changing materials in textile fibres. Value-added products are targeted within underwear, sports, leisure, work wear, medical, home textiles and technical textiles applications. Bio-based raw materials are addressed wherever possible and economical. The work is expected to contribute to the transformation of certain sectors of the European textile and clothing industry from commodities into value-added products securing sustainable growth and employment within the European textile sector.

During the first period the development of PCM/polymer alloys and their manufacturing technology has been in focus. An evaluation of possible bio-based PCMs was performed, together with a study on possible polymeric bio-based viscosity modifiers. The most suitable PCMs were found to be hydrocarbon waxes manufactured from bio-based raw materials. A technology for production of PCM/polymer alloy in a continuous extrusion process has been demonstrated producing free flowing pellets containing 70% PCM.

The developed PCM/polymer alloys have been extruded with both conventional polymers (PET, PA) and bio-based polymers (e.g. PLA) into fibres in pilot scale. The set targets have been reached. Heat of fusions higher than 60 J/g with melting points in the range 27-35 °C and tenacity higher than 20 cN/tex has been demonstrated. Repeated washing cycles show that loss of thermal efficiency is low if fiber morphology is of good quality.

Different bio-based PCM-substances like n-paraffins or di-n-alkyl ethers were shown to be useful in Lyocell nano-composite fibres manufactured in laboratory scale. A transformation of direct incorporation of PCM into cellulose fibres matrices from laboratory into a semi technical spinning scale seems to be possible. Stable spinning trials over a time period of 25 spinning days were successful. Some 100 kilograms of high filled PCM-fibres have been manufactured for further investigations and textile processing. Theirs heat storage capacity is in all cases between 80 J/g and 90 J/g. Other characteristics being fineness: 1,5 dtex, tensile strength: 25,6 cN/tex and loop strength: 10,5 cN/tex.

Knitted fabrics (PA6) retain the PCM in the fibre during the scouring and dyeing operations. The knits with PCM were uniformly dyed, in both acid or disperse dyeing variants, but displayed a lower dyeability compared to samples without PCM.

Anionic and non-ionic surfactant products, anti-creases and antifoam agents do not affect heat of fusion of cellulose fibres. The overall scouring-dyeing process leads to a small decrease of heat of fusion. Colour fastness, washing fastness, acid or alkaline perspiration were very good.

A literature study regarding physiological evaluation and thermal characterisation of garments with PCM was completed and an overview of existing methods and standards was given. A report on laboratory test protocols has been delivered. Pilot testing with sweating thermal cylinder, manikin and human subject has started. Preliminary mankin tests show that the test protocol developed can discriminate between different types of PCM matererials with different melting peaks.

LCA is made by means of comparison with one reference product manufactured from different temperature regulating fibres as well as conventional fibres. For inventory analysis preliminary production chains of PCM products were drafted and data collection from generic databases and partners was started.

Substances considered harmful according to the eco-label standards that might be released by the polymer-PCM systems have been subjected to chemical analysis. Compounds identified have been quantified in conformity with specific EN ISO standards. No harmful substances above permitted levels have been found.

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This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Novel Temperature Regulating Fibres And Garments

Acronym: 
NOTEREFIGA

Runtime: 
01.01.2009 to 31.12.2012

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

SWEREA IVF AB

(Sweden)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. HAGSTRÖM Bengt

Website: http://www.swereaivf.se

Phone: +46-317066362

Contact

ADDCOMP HOLLAND BV

(Netherlands)

Contact person: Dr. KOPPES Margareth J.C.M.

Website: http://www.addcomp.nl

Phone: +31-0548620403

Contact

CENTRE SCIENTIFIQUE & TECHNIQUE DE L'INDUSTRIE TEXTILE BELGE

(Belgium)

Contact person: Ms. ADAMS Michèle

Website: http://www.centexbel.eu

Phone: +32-92438273

Contact

DEVOLD OF NORWAY AS

(Norway)

Contact person: Mrs. FARSTAD Solgunn Hoff

Website: http://www.devold.com

Phone: +47-70197700

Contact

FOV FABRICS AB

(Sweden)

Contact person: Mr. KJERRULF Johan

Website: http://www.fov.se

Phone: +46-336325

Contact

GOTECH SRL

(Romania)

Contact person: Mr. VELKER Oleg

Website: http://www.gotech.ro

Phone: +40-743099960

Contact

INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE-DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEXTILE SI PIELARIE

(Romania)

Contact person: Dr. VISILEANU Emilia

Phone: +40-213404928

Contact

LUXILON INDUSTRIES NV

(Belgium)

Contact person: Mr. DE BREUCK Herbert

Website: http://www.luxilonindustries.com

Phone: +32-33263388

Contact

POLISILK SA

(Spain)

Contact person: Mr. PONSA Marc

Website: http://www.polisilk.com

Phone: +34-938358037

Contact

PREDILNICA LITIJA DOO

(Slovenia)

Contact person: Ms. ZLABRAVEC Verica

Website: http://www.litija.com

Phone: +386-18990210

Contact

SMART FIBER AG

(Germany)

Contact person: Mr. KOHNE Michael

Website: http://www.smartfiber.de

Phone: +49-367234940

Contact

STIFTELSEN SINTEF

(Norway)

Contact person: Ms. FÆREVIK Hilde

Phone: +47-93003252

Contact

THUERINGISCHES INSTITUT FUER TEXTIL- UND KUNSTSTOFF-FORSCHUNG E.V.

(Germany)

Contact person: Ms. SCHUBERT Ute

Website: http://www.titk.de

Phone: +49-3672379500

Contact

TTY-SAATIO

(Finland)

Contact person: Dr. KUOKKALA Veli-Tapani

Phone: +358-40-8490042

Contact

ULLFROTTE AB

(Sweden)

Contact person: Ms. ÅBERG Sofia

Phone: +46-63148522

Contact