Heat-storage capsules smooth out temperature peaks

21-Oct-2003

Under the microscope, BASF's microcapsules sparkle like jewels. It's their function, not their material value that makes them something special. As latent heat stores, these capsules make it possible to keep temperatures constant and smooth out peaks.

The plastic microcapsules - 6 to 10 micrometers in diameter - contain a storage medium such as paraffin. When the contents melt, heat is taken up and is given out again only when the material solidifies. An interesting application for the tiny temperature managers is in offices and apartments: When integrated into interior render or plaster board, the heat-storage capsules help even out the room temperature. But latent heat stores are also already being used for temperature equalization in sportswear. In the event of physical exertion, excess heat is absorbed by the garment and then released to the body in rest periods or when the outside temperature falls. In this application, the microcapsules are incorporated in the fiber material or in a layer of the garment, for example in breathable clothing, socks or gloves.

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