Experimental Studies on the Cooling of Helmet Retrofitted with a Phase Change Material Fabric

Experimental Studies on the Cooling of Helmet Retrofitted with a Phase Change Material Fabric

Tso C.P. Tan F.L. 

Nanyang Technological University, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore

30 June 2013
| Citation



A novel design of a phase change material (PCM) helmet is reported where a PCM-polyurethane foam fabric is used. The fabric, comprising 37% of paraffinic PCM with melting temperature at 35°C, is lined on the interior walls of a motorcycle helmet directly in contact with the head. The experimental tests on the performance of the PCM helmet to cool the head are carried out in a wind tunnel at different speeds of air flow over the helmet. A heating mat is used to simulate the heat generation of the head. Results show that air flow has insignificant effects to the helmet cooling, whereas the heat generation rate has a large impact on the cooling performance. The helmet is also tested with different number of PCM fabric layers. The PCM fabric can be retro-fitted to existing helmets.


[1] Liu, B.C., Ivers, R., Norton, R., Boufous, S., Blows, S., Lo, S.K. Helmets for preventing injury in motorcycle riders (2008) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1), art. no. CD004333. http://www.mrw.interscience.wiley.com.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/cochrane/clsysrev/articles/CD004333/pdf_fs.html doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004333.pub3

[2] Yu, W.-Y., Chen, C.-Y., Chiu, W.-T., Lin, M.-R. Effectiveness of different types of motorcycle helmets and effects of their improper use on head injuries (2011) International Journal of Epidemiology, 40 (3), art. no. dyr040, pp. 794-803. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyr040

[3] Clark, R.P., Toy, N. Natural convection around the human head. (1975) The Journal of Physiology, 244 (2), pp. 283-293. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1975.sp010797

[4] Buist, R.J., Streitwieser, G.D. The thermoelectrically cooled helmet (1988) Paper Presented at the Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Thermoelectric Conference, pp. 88-94. Arlington, Texas

[5] Jwo, C.S., Chien, C.C. (2007) Solar Powered-operated Cooling Helmet. U.S. Patent 200701376845A1

[6] Abhat, A. Low temperature latent heat thermal energy storage: Heat storage materials (1983) Solar Energy, 30 (4), pp. 313-332. doi: 10.1016/0038-092X(83)90186-X

[7] Cabeza, L.F., Mehling, H., Hiebler, S., Ziegler, F. Heat transfer enhancement in water when used as PCM in thermal energy storage (2002) Applied Thermal Engineering, 22 (10), pp. 1141-1151. doi: 10.1016/S1359-4311(02)00035-2

[8] Tan, F.L., Fok, S.C. Cooling of helmet with phase change material (2006) Applied Thermal Engineering, 26 (17-18), pp. 2067-2072. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2006.04.022

[9] Fok, S.C., Tan, F.L., Sua, C.C. Experimental investigations on the cooling of a motorcycle helmet with phase change material (2011) Thermal Science, 15 (3), pp. 807-816. http://thermalscience.vinca.rs.ezproxy3.lhl.uab.edu/pdfs/papers-2011/TSCI100627027F.pdf doi: 10.2298/TSCI100627027F

[10] Mondal, S. Phase change materials for smart textiles - An overview (2008) Applied Thermal Engineering, 28 (11-12), pp. 1536-1550. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2007.08.009

[11] Nelson, G. Microencapsulation in textile finishing (2001) Review of Progress in Coloration and Related Topics, 32, pp. 57-64.

[12] Pause, B. (2000) Melliand Textilberichte/International Textile Reports, 81 (9), pp. 753-754.

[13] Bendkowska, W., Tysiak, J., Grabowski, L., Blejzyk, A. Determining temperature regulating factor for apparel fabrics containing phase change material (2005) International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, 17 (3-4), pp. 209-214. doi: 10.1108/09556220510590902

[14] (2004) ASTM D7024-04 Standard Test Method for Steady State and Dynamic Thermal Performance of Textile Materials. American Society for Testing and Materials. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM Int