Author(s): Senthil Priya P and Sathya R I
PCM is responsible for the storage and adsorption or release of thermal energy, the encapsulation of them needs a physically and chemically stable shell. The development of an easy, cheap and robust method for the encapsulation of PCMs is so important for textile applications. Inorganic microcapsules (Urea-formaldehyde) were synthesized and capsules were finished onto cotton fabrics to develop into a novel phase change material. Morphology of the microcapsules finished fabrics were analyzed topographically using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). FTIR analysis, thermal properties and wash durability of inorganic PCM capsule finished fabrics were separately characterized. Under Scanning Electron Microscopy, the prepared inorganic PCM microcapsules were found to be spherical shape with smooth surface. The Inorganic PCM microcapsules in the fabrics were found attached on the fiber surface. The melting point of the PCM was found to be 124.9ºC. This confirms that the obtained inorganic PCM can be effective when impregnated with fabrics. The obtained FTIR spectra for PCM coated cotton fabric showed various absorption bands denoting the same functional groups attained on control cotton except few functional groups which are significantly corresponding to the PCM’s. Microcapsules retained in the fabric even after 5 washes. The microcapsules were found to be slightly reduced at 5th wash than 2nd wash. As a result of its significant thermal properties, the developed inorganic PCM can be employed in textile materials with medical applications for hot and cold therapies or in high-tech clothes for extreme weather conditions.