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Thermochromic composite fibres containing liquid crystals formed via melt extrusion


A three-layered composite fibre has been generated via a modified wire-coating melt co-extrusion process. The continuous fibre consists of a thermochromic liquid crystalline (TLC) layer encapsulated between a transparent polypropylene outer sheath and a black polyether ether ketone inner core. The fibres exhibit clear thermochromic behaviour consistent with the behaviour of unincorporated TLCs, and have been formed into a textile. The presence of the black inner core was found to be the key for the clear retention of colour within the fibres against both white and black backgrounds. The temperature-sensitive fibres and textiles can be applied to a variety of thermal mapping applications, such as in the medical and engineering fields, due to the tunable nature of TLCs.

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This work was carried out with the financial support of Smith & Nephew, CSIRO, and Monash University. The authors would like to thank John Ward and Mark Greaves (CSIRO) for facilitating the optical microscopy work, and LCR Hallcrest for their guidance and for providing a selection of pre-formulated thermochromic liquid crystalline mixtures.

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Correspondence to Louise van der Werff.

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van der Werff, L., Kyratzis, I.L., Robinson, A. et al. Thermochromic composite fibres containing liquid crystals formed via melt extrusion. J Mater Sci 48, 5005–5011 (2013).

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  • Composite Fibre
  • Inner Core
  • Melt Flow Index
  • Pitch Length
  • Liquid Crystalline Material