This post introduces the first of three parts of the experimental work presented in my PhD thesis Thermochromic textiles and sunlight activating systems: an alternative means to induce colour change. The, in this text, presented part discusses the investigation and formulation of the relationship between thermochromic dyes and direct solar energy, in terms of activating and deactivating the dye.
These investigations were conducted using the low-technology direct activation mechanism; either by heat derived from the rays of the sun, or a glass window heated by the sun, or both. In both cases, activation is affected by the ambient temperature. The investigations aimed to answer the question as to whether using direct solar activation to activate thermochromic dyes would need a different approach to the design process, in relation to other previously (by me as well as other textile designers) used activation methods. The investigations demonstrate the difficulty in controlling the aesthetic outcome of the printed thermochromic designs in working with a highly uncontrollable parameter such as direct solar activation.
The main contributions to knowledge from this part of the thesis are sets of ‘guidelines’ in the form of ‘design variables’, defined by me, to expand the aesthetic vocabulary for designers using thermochromic leuco dyes, as well as amendments to previously by other published descriptors for the ‘reversible dynamic pattern’. This part of the thesis presents two different levels of design variables as well as amendments to the descriptors: one level concerning activation of the thermochromic dye in general and the other specifically concerning direct solar activation.
To find out more regarding activation of thermochromic dyes through direct solar energy see Chapter 4 in my PhD thesis Thermochromic textiles and sunlight activating systems: an alternative means to induce colour change. Click here to download.
To read an overview of the whole thesis project, click here.