News Releases

COMFORMER®, a resin heat storage material for textile use, is adopted in the batting of high-functional bedding

Oct. 22, 2020

Sumitomo Chemical proudly inform that COMFORMER®, a polymer type phase change material (PCM), has been adopted in the batting of a high-functional futon*1 produced by the leading futon manufacturer. Batting is material used for lining and insulation. In the future, we intend to expand its applications in various textile products, such as clothing and carpets.

COMFORMER® is a resign heat storage material for textiles, designed for absorbing/releasing heat at a specific temperature range of 20-50°C, using a phase change mechanism*2. As conventional low molecular weight PCMs, such as paraffin wax, are liquefied along with the phase change that occurs during heat storage, it is necessary to encapsulate PCMs to prevent leakage, attach them to the fiber surface, or knead them into the fibers. By contrast, COMFORMER® can be used as is in the form of fiber because it maintains a solid state in the temperature range to store heat. In addition, the product has a resin design with increased molding stability to create elongated fibers. Thus, it can be mass-produced using the highly productive melt spinning method*3, as is the case for general synthetic fibers, such as nylon and polyester. The use of COMFORMER® —processed into fibers by taking advantage of these characteristics —as the batting of the futon, can maintain the air layer between the futon and the human body at a comfortable temperature regardless of temperature changes in the surrounding environment. COMFORMER® has now been adopted for use in bedding because it was highly regarded as an important material that contributes to the design of synthetic fiber batting, which can replace down.

In recent years, heightened needs for quality of life improvements have prompted the development of functional fibers that provide greater comfort. COMFORMER® can deliver synergistic effects in combined use with such functional fibers. For example, hygroscopic exothermic fiber used in winter underwear is a material to absorb sweat from the human body and generate heat. COMFORMER® can store such heat to prolong the time it keeps the body warm. If it is combined with contact cool sensory fiber for summer, COMFORMER® is expected to provide a higher cooling sensation. For ethical consumption that is friendly to humans, society and the environment, it is expected that COMFORMER® will be used as an alternative material to down. In light of the wide range of textile products, such as carpets and curtains, in addition to bedding and clothing, we are currently developing applications of COMFORMER® with multiple companies by making the best use of its comfort and energy-saving heat storage performance.

Sumitomo Chemical will continue to cultivate potential needs of the market, develop innovative products and technologies that can lead to new applications beyond the framework of existing businesses, and provide solutions that can contribute to a sustainable society.

*1 Futon is Japanese traditional style bedding.
*2 The change in the state of a substance in association with the release and absorption of heat.
*3 A method to produce fiber by extruding the molten polymer from a spinneret and then cooling and solidifying it.


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