Phase change materials can manipulate heat in really special way. They slowly absorb heat feeling unnaturally cool on the skin and then slowly release that heat as it cools down.The material is available in a few forms but we are going to look at a great sample of Outlast cloth we have in the office. This is designed to be added to other clothing and not meant to be a top or in direct skin contact and feels unnaturally cool to the touch but given the nice weather it’s quite pleasant.
This a minute after heating up both sides with my hand, the left side is PCM treated, the thermochromic layer on top shows you it’s much hotter than the untreated side.
- Retains heat over time
- Helps absorb excess heat, works great for body heat.
- High repeatability, can work many thousands of times.
- Can only retain a limited supply of heat
- Unknown environmental effects
Manufacture & Fabrication
The outlast material can be applied a s a coating, which is potentially the most effective at changing tempratrues as it can be of a controlled thickness or it can be added to fibres. It can also be dusted through a matrix of other fabrics to add the functionality to the material without changing the feel.
Durability & Sustainability
Outlast is highly repeatable as the process is stable and not consumed though usage it is however vulnerable to abrasion or washing cycles when in some forms. Currently I cannot find any information on it’s sustainability so at this moment it cannot be recycled.
Find out more at Outlast
You can also check out this marketing video for a better overview of the material it’s however very focused on sweat.