Micro engineered capsules of wax are enabling the construction of buildings that automatically self-regulate their own temperature
A unique technology for producing highly uniform micro capsules developed by Micropore Technologies will enable the production of efficient new smart construction materials with what are described as ‘phase-change’ properties. When incorporated into walling or roofing, phase change materials or PCMs, as they are known, automatically respond to the extremes of temperature absorbing heat when the ambient temperature rises and emitting it back out when the surrounding temperature begins to fall.
So in the northern hemisphere the energy from daytime winter sunshine, for example, can be inexpensively captured and used to moderate much colder night time temperatures and vice versa in the southern hemisphere, where PCMs can harness cooler night time temperatures to moderate high daytime conditions.
PCMs work by incorporating microscopically small capsules of a waxy substance into wall or ceiling boards that are typically made from concrete or gypsum. These micro capsules, within the wall structure, melt when the temperature rises beyond a determined level, absorbing heat. When the temperature begins to cool, the material solidifies again emitting the latent stored heat. Testing has demonstrated that this melting and re-solidifying process can be repeated many, many thousands of times with an expected life expectancy of 30 years or more. Thus PCMs can offer significant long term savings in the energy used for climate control, with an attractive two year return on investment and the possibility of achieving a significantly reduction on the building’s environmental footprint.
This is where Micropore’s unique technology, which is able to offer a proven microencapsulation technology capable of delivering highly uniform micro capsules comes in.
“The creation of monodispersed PCM’s can provide superior performance, when compared to PCM’s made via traditional homogenisation methods.” Said David Palmer, Micropore’s Business Development Manager, “as the particles are all exactly the same size, they provide a more consistent response and easier post-processing.”