Tips for Maintaining Leather Shoes

One of the best investments you can make is on quality leather shoes. The only catch is that you must take care of those shoes religiously. A quality pair of shoes will last you a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Also, the products you use on your leather footwear do not have to cost more than the price of the shoes. There are a number of tips to help you maintain those leather shoes so they will not only last longer, but will maintain a great look.

The first thing to remember is that two pairs of good quality leather shoes will last more than twice as long as one pair. This mathematical impossibility is nonetheless true, because by purchasing two pair of leather shoes, you can wear one pair every other day and allow the shoes to dry on a cedar shoe tree to absorb the moisture from your skin and from the leather while still holding the shoe in the correct shape. In this case, 1 + 1 = 3.

Cleaning your leather shoes is largely a matter of daily care and daily attention to any blemishes. Using all natural shoe care products allows the leather to breathe. Suggested cleaning products include those made specifically for leather, such as saddle soap. If you use saddle soap, and follow the treatment with mink oil, you will almost always have great success in keeping your footwear looking like new. These products can be found in most areas where shoe care items are found. Goop hand cleaner which can be found in most automotive supplies stores is another great product for getting the leather clean, without damaging the product. Goop is waterless and is excellent for removing oil and grease from the surface of the leather. Pine gum will help to restore your shoes when they are the victim of small nicks, scratches and cuts. This product soaks into the leather and serves as an excellent camouflage. If the color of the leather has faded, pine gum will help to restore the color and appearance.

If you often find that you are walking or working where there is a lot of moisture, you can provide some waterproofing for your leather shoes or boots. This will help to protect the footwear from salt stains, snow and from water. If shoes do get damp, store them on a shoe tree to dry, but never place the leather shoes close to direct heat such as a stove or fireplace unit. Beeswax provides excellent water-repellent properties for protecting your leather shoes from the elements. There are also waterproofing type products sold where shoe care products appear that will help protect your shoes against the elements.

Conditioning your footwear helps to maintain soft and supple leather. Preventing cracks in the surface of the leather means that less harmful agents can attack the leather. Keeping the leather soft means the shoes will fit more comfortably too. Lanolin is great for softening the leather, while emu oil restores the natural moisture of the leather by deep penetration into the shoe.

When you are cleaning and conditioning your shoes do not forget to take care of the inside of the shoe. Using Eucalyptus oil or Tea Tree oil prevents the deterioration of the stitching by fighting against mildew and mold in the interior of the shoe as well as in the top stitching.

Keep in mind that specialty leather products such as suede or patent leather have special products intended specifically for their care. For example, you would not want to use some of the oil or cream based products in caring for suede shoes. Often regular, gentle brushing to remove loose soil and a spray on suede cleaner will be just the thing for cleaning that type of leather.

If you find problems developing in the stitching or the soles of the show, or anywhere on the shoe in fact, put the cost of repairing the shoe against the cost of replace them and make a trip to the local repair shop for shoes. The price of a good repairman is well worth it in terms of lengthened shoe life.

Finally, many people have success in caring for their shoes with various household products not specifically created for leather shoes. For example, petroleum jelly rubbed gently into the leather then allowed to sit before a bit before being wiped off keeps leather uniform shoes looking great. Others swear by furniture polish sprayed on lightly and wiped down with a cloth.

How to Care For Your Motorcycle Gear

it is not enough that you choose the right gears. It is also important that you care for them the right way. Caring for your gears will ensure that you can rely on them for a long time. You will be sure that they are in top condition all the time.

The following are the gears that most riders use:

o Helmet
o Glove
o Jackets
o Eyewear
o Pants
o Boots

Many riders are also using men’s leather chaps for additional protection.

Since these devices are taking care of you as you ride, it is only right that you know how to care for them. Here are the different ways to care for your motorcycle gears:


It is not difficult to clean your helmet. For the outer shell, you can use a damp cloth to wipe the dirt off. You can also use regular cleaning agents. Just make sure it does not contain harsh chemicals that can ruin the shiny finish of your helmet. You can also apply automotive wax to protect your gear. There are also plastic parts on the helmet. Wipe it with damp material as well. Be careful not to use solvent or other harsh chemicals because it can damage the plastic parts.

For the inner part of the helmet, remove the padding if removable and wash it using your hands and with delicate agent. If it is not removable, use a damp cloth with cleaning agents and wipe it. The same goes for the other immovable parts in the helmet. Dry it under direct heat of the sun to avoid unpleasant odors from developing.

Gears with leather materials

Most of the motorcycle gears are made of leather materials. This is the top choice for many riders because they are reliable and durable. Although they are durable, they need proper caring as well. Keep in mind that these gears take most of the beating when you are on the road.

Ask the manufacturer how to care for your gear. Leathers have different finishes. Although you can use mild agents and water, it can spot and would not look good. Make sure that you follow the specific instructions from your manufacturer.

Do not forget to apply protective products to ensure that the material will not go brittle and break. It is better if you clean it right away. Do not allow the stain to dry on your gear so that it will not be difficult to remove.

Make sure that you check your gears right away after use. Gears like the men’s leather chaps, jackets, boots, and gloves. If you clean them right away, you will not have to deal with piled up dirt when you need to use them.

Ducati Motorcycles – For Casual Riders to Professional Racers

Ducati manufactures a series of motorcycles that are perfect for everyone from casual riders to professional racers. Their current line of bikes includes the super-popular Superbike 1098. This 2007 model has been designed for performance on the road and on the racetrack. Other models in the Ducati line include the Desmosedici RR, Monster and Sportclassic.

In addition to a superior line of motorcycles, Ducati also offers a great line of accessories. These accessories include items like racing bike upgrades, exhaust pipe upgrades, engine performance upgrades, wheel upgrades and bike covers. Ducati also offer a selection of apparel. Their apparel line includes helmets, caps, shirts and racing gear.

There are a lot of ways to get your hands on Ducati motorcycle parts and accessories. The first way is to visit a local Ducati dealer. Here you will find new and remanufactured parts for your bike. If you don’t have a Ducati dealer in your area then you can order directly from the Ducati company. If you use this method for shopping for motorcycle parts you will have access to upgrade kits, racing gear and authorized parts.

If you are interested in finding used Ducati motorcycle parts then you will need to do a little digging. You can search classified ads listed in your local newspaper, or you can search the classified ads posted in sporting and motorcycle publications. You can also search websites that offer used products like eBay. Motorcycle service shops are another great source for finding used and remanufactured parts for your Ducati motorcycle.

What Choices are There for Promotional Products?

Promoting your business is important. If no one knows about your business, it will not be very successful. One way to effectively promote your business is by offering promotional products. Promotional products get your business’s name out to the public while giving them a useful product that will remind them of your business’s name over and over.

What choices are there for promotional products? There are hundreds of choices. Here are some of the more popular ones.

Writing instruments – Ballpoint pens, pencils, highlighters, permanent markers, and other writing instruments are some of the most popular promotional products for a good reason. They are inexpensive, easy to distribute, and appreciated by the recipients.

Apparel – Another popular promotional product is apparel. Baseball hats, t-shirts, golf shirts, even boxer shorts can be imprinted with your company’s logo and information, and those who wear the promotional items become a walking billboard for your company.

Refrigerator magnets – A good quality refrigerator magnet can stay on someone’s refrigerator door for years. These inexpensive promotional products can often be in a shape that reflects your business such as a light bulb if you are an electrician or a coffee mug if you own a café.

Calendars – A calendar is a whole year of advertising in just one product. Your companies name and contact information will be displayed for twelve months and looked at just about every business day.

Coffee mugs – Most people need a cup of coffee to get them going in the morning. Ceramic coffee mugs and travel coffee mugs are promotional products that get used by their recipients frequently. In addition to coffee mugs, other types of drink ware such as beer mugs or water bottles are popular choices, too.

Golf balls – If you’ve got an upscale clientele that appreciates a good 18 holes, then promotional golf balls with your company’s logo on them are appropriate promotional items.

Mouse pads – You can fit all of your company’s pertinent contact information on to a mousse pad and still have room for your logo or an attractive picture. One of the best things about promotional mousse pads is that the recipient will always know exactly where to find your information – right next to his keyboard at all times.

Automotive products – Car sun shades, ice scrapers, key chains and other products associated with cars make useful promotional products.

Toys – mini cube games, yo-yos, flying discs, beach balls, even poker chips all make fun and interesting promotional products.

Desktop items – Notepads, sticky notes, picture frames, pencil cups, and other items that are useful on the top of a desk are promotional items that the recipient will look at every time he sits at his desk.

Disposable cameras – One time use cameras can be made into promotional items by having their exterior promote your business. They can even have pre-exposed message strips on the bottom of each frame of film so that when the pictures get developed, your company’s message will be displayed on each one.

What Effect Do Wide Tires Have On Motorcycle Handling?

Often times, motorcycles are running on narrow tires which do not run on flat surfaces. This is completely different than how car tires work. Lately, however, motorcycle tires have been manufactured with wide proportions. Skeptics would tend to ask, what effect do wide tires have on motorcycle handling? This article will explain about this query and more.

The Rear Difference

Motorcycle tires with wide rears do not work the same with cars that have them. They have the tendency to tread more, therefore creating a situation where the motorcycle pushes through the turns instead of going around them. Since this is a very dangerous way to go, most people, when selecting their motorcycle tires, opt to have the front wider than the rear. The motorcycle actually appears to be more responsive with this type of tire. Still, you have to be very careful because the ride may still be a bit twitchy due to the combination of a short wheelbase and a wide front tire.

In general, it is always best to go both ways if you decide to have wider tires on your motorcycles. This is because motorcycle tires will have a great overall grip while retaining the handling balance if they have wider front and rear portions. Make sure, though, that you are particular with how wide your motorcycle tires are. They should not be more than 10mm wider or narrower than the stock tire. If this is the case, then it will result in pinch flats or a possible wearing out of the tires which may even result in a blow up.

Approved Installation

Nobody is stopping you from installing additional motorcycle apparel or making changes to your motorcycle tires. You should, however, only consider doing this if you have the approval of your motorcycle or tire manufacturer. Most manufacturers are keen on having their models altered. If they would approve of the changes in your tires, it would usually be minimal. One allowable size will do. Be safe with this alternative, and it is advised to get a clearance. The main reason why manufacturers see to it that these protocols are followed is because there is an effect on stability and handling with wider tires, as explained above. You see, tires often grow in size after inflation and may continuously do so after riding on them for a hundred miles or so. So, it basically means that it’s more than just the tires that would change, your other gears should as well be adjust to the changes.

The Real Score

If your motorcycle tires are wide, they will obviously make wider footprints. Apart from this, it does have an effect on how you handle your vehicle. If you check your motorcycle’s manual and consult its manufacturer, you will find that there are suitable widths for various types of motorcycle tires and suitable adjustments that need to be made on motorcycle apparel.

If you fail to read the guidelines, you will see that if you happen to have your motorcycle too wide, the inner parts of your vehicle will be struck and this may interfere with your road performance. Your driving will be a bit off. So it is best to have the width proportional to your motorcycle’s other parts because you do not want to risk purchasing other parts that will give you a dangerously hard time on the road.

Really Learn To Drive – Chapter 1

An overwhelming majority of Americans do not know how to drive. I admit this is a broad statement, but my personal experience, which has been direct and not anecdotal, bears this out. The first, but not the primary source of information comes from the thousands of people that I, as a docent at the world famous Petersen Automotive Museum take on tours. These tours are very interactive and many of the conversations about cars in traffic, cars at speed, car safety, etc. typically draw a response along the lines of “Really, I didn’t know that”. Many of the young, (barely) driving age, people on these tours admit to knowing or having participated in street racing. These drivers have virtually no experience, are driving cars that, in many cases, have ever increasing amounts of horsepower, may be turbo charged, and have handling characteristics that change dramatically at speed and are winding up in ever increasing numbers as statistics, By the way, adults are as guilty. Even more so as they have some road experience and should have more sense. This is anecdotal, but it seems that the belief is that if you can afford a fast toy with high performance characteristics (Shelby Mustang, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Porsche, BMW, etc.) you should be able to drive it fast. Look at the accident stats. Go to a real “Performance” driving school – more than once. As I repeat over and over, “What is your life worth”,

The depth of ignorance and/ or driving incompetence becomes very obvious during the opening minutes of the first classroom session at the track side driving school that I have attended biannually for 10 years. This 2 day school, run by a non profit performance car club, uses licensed Race Drivers, many with National and International experience, as instructors,. They limit class size to 26 people and has classes for 3 levels of competence. This will be the first in a series of articles that will take you through the basics of the 3 competence levels – Street Performance, Time Trial Competition and Wheel to Wheel Road Racing.

Unlike the licensing requirements in most “developed” nations, where extensive seat time with highly trained drivers is required, in this country the primary requirement is learning enough of the rules of the road to pass a simple written test and some basic driving skills. Around 45,000 people a year die on the road, a substantial percentage are under 21 years. The reported, and worse, unreported accident number is staggering.

What the Salesman Doesn’t Tell You: Understanding Auto Depreciation

The question in the back of your mind after you’ve bought a used or new car is always, “I wonder how long I can drive this car till I have to sell it.” Hand-in-hand with selling your car comes the question of what will it be worth in the future. This price will be contingent upon the automotive depreciation of your car, how much it loses its value from original price paid to price sold. The question of depreciation pricing especially comes into play when buying a used car…are you paying the correct price, or is the salesman taking you for a ride.

The standard rate of depreciation of automobiles in the U.S. market can be estimated at around 15-20% of the car’s value the prior year. A 1 year old car will be worth around 80-85% of the original cost, a 4 year old car will be worth around 80 – 85% of the 3rd year value, etc.

New cars have the most staggering and quick depreciation, with first year depreciation hurting the most due to the “off the lot” value drop. This occurs due to the fact that the customer pays retail price at the dealership, which is the price the dealer chooses for the car. As soon as you leave after signing on the dotted line, the car is worth the wholesale or actual price of the car, which could range from 5-15% less than the original, retail value of the car.

“The retail price is what you would expect to pay for the car at a dealership. The wholesale price is what you would be offered if you sell it to someone who will turn around and resell it to someone else. The wholesale price is essentially the same as the trade-in value.” –

Let’s say you bought a brand new 2006 Z06 Corvette at a 7% retail markup…you know the salesman…at the dealership for around $74,000. The wholesale price plus a year of depreciation would place the 1 year old price of your Corvette at around $60,000. The second year value of the car (60,000 x .83) would be around $49,800, third year value (49,800 x .83) at $41,334.

Depreciation is a particularly important issue when buying a used car, because you need to know the value of your wanted car compared to the asking price of the dealership. Here are a few pointers to finding the information for yourself, so you can possibly avoid the expensive lemon.

1. Do Your Homework – Consult as many resources as possible, especially reputable automotive tools such as Edmund’s Automobile Buyers Guide and Kelley Blue Book. Find out the price offered by the officials and arm yourself with that knowledge before you start seeing the plaid sport coats of salesmen.

2. Compare the local market to the CarMax’s – Don’t take the easy way out and go to the most popular brand name. Look at local markets and classified ads to see what is in your area.

3. Don’t be swayed by aesthetics – Scratches and slight dings are not the end of the world for a buyer as they are for a dealer. Many of these exterior damages are easily rectified and offer the buyer a much lower rate.

4. Financing Through Credit Union – It’s true, your local credit union can offer great deals on financing you next new or used car.

5. Use The Internet – Not that you have to be told, but the best friend a buyer has during the process of securing a car is the web. All the aforementioned resources are available of the Internet, as well as the ability to search almost every market a car can be found.

Pcm In Textiles

Phase Change Materials (PCM) in Textiles
In textile industry, protection from extreme environmental conditions is a very crucial requirement. Clothing that protects us from water, extreme cold, intensive heat, open fire, high voltage, propelled bullets, toxic chemicals, nuclear radiations, biological toxins, etc are some of the illustrations.

Such clothing is utilized as sportswear, defense wear, firefighting wear, bulletproof jackets and other professional wear. Textile products can be made more comfortable when the properties of the textile materials can adjust with all types of environments.

At present, for fulfilling the above requirement Phase Change Materials (PCM) is one such intelligent material. It absorbs, stores or discharges heat in accordance with the various changes in temperature and is more often applied to manufacture the smart textiles.

Phase Change Materials
‘Phase Change’ is the process of going from one stat to another, e.g. from solid to liquid. Any material that experiences the process of phase change is named as Phase Change Materials (PCM).

Such materials collect, discharge or absorb heat as they oscillate between solid and liquid form. They discharge heat as they transform to a solid state and absorb as they go back to a liquid state. There are three basic phases of matter solid, liquid and gas, but others like crystalline, colloid, glassy, amorphous and plasma phases are also considered to exist.

This fundamental phenomenon of science was initially developed and used for building space suits for astronauts for the US Space Program. These suits kept the astronauts warm in the black void of space and cool in the solar glare. Phase Change Materials are compounds, which melt and solidify at specific temperatures and correspondingly are able to retain or discharge large amounts of energy.

The storage of thermal energy by changing the phase of a material at a constant temperature is classified as ‘latent heat’, i.e., changing from a liquid state to a solid state. When a PCM experiences a phase change, a huge amount of energy is needed. The most significant characteristic of latent heat is that it involves the transfer of much larger amounts of energy than sensible heat transfer.

Quiet a few of these PCMs change phases within a temperature range just above and below human skin temperature. This characteristic of some substances is used for making protective all-season outfits, and for abruptly changing environment. Fibre, fabric and foam with built-in PCMs store the warmth of body and then release it back to the body, as the body requires it. Since the procedure of phase change is dynamic, the materials are continually shifting from solid to liquid and back according to the physical movement of the body and outside temperature. Furthermore, Phase Change Materials are used, but they never get used up.

Phase Change Materials are waxes that have the distinctive capacity to soak and emit heat energy without altering the temperature. These waxes include eicosane, octadecane, Nonadecane, heptadecane and hexadecane. They all possess different freezing and melting points and when mixed in a microcapsule it will accumulate heat energy and release heat energy and maintain their temperature range of 30-34°C, which is very comfortable for the body.

The amount of heat absorbed by a PCM in the actual phase change with the amount of heat absorbed in an ordinary heating procedure can be evaluated by taking water as a PCM. The melting of ice into water leads to the absorption of latent heat of nearly 335 J/g. If water is further boiled, a sensible heat of only 4 J/g is absorbed, while the temperature increases by one degree. Hence, the latent heat absorption in the phase change from ice into water is about 100 times greater than the sensible heat absorption.

How to assimilate PCMs in fabrics?
The micro encapsulated PCM can be combined with woven, non woven or knitted fabrics.

The capsules can be added to the fabric in various ways such as:

Microcapsules: Microcapsules of various shapes – round, square and triangular within fibres at the polymer stage. The PCM microcapsules are permanently fixed within the fibre structure during the wet spinning procedure of fibre manufacture. Micro encapsulation gives a softer hand, greater stretch, more breathability and air permeability to the fabrics.

Matrix coating during the finishing process: The PCM microcapsules are embedded in a coating compound like acrylic, polyurethane, etc, and are applied to the fabric. There are many coating methods available like knife-over-roll, knife-over-air, pad-dry-cure, gravure, dip coating and transfer coating.

Foam dispersion: Microcapsules are mixed into a water-blown polyurethane foam mix and these foams are applied to a fabric in a lamination procedure, where the water is removed from the system by the drying process.

Body and clothing systems
The needed thermal insulation of clothing systems mainly depends on the physical activity and on the surrounding conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. The amount of heat produced by humans depends a lot on the physical activity and can differ from 100W while resting to over 1000W during maximum physical performance.

Specially, during the cooler seasons (approx 0°C), the suggested thermal insulation is defined in order to make sure that the body is adequately warm when resting. At extreme activity, which is often a case with winter sports, the body temperature rises with enhanced heat production. To make this increase within a certain limit, the body perspires in order to withdraw energy from the body by evaporative cooling. If the thermal insulation of the clothing is decreased during physical activity, a part of the generated heat can be removed by convection, thus the body is not needed expected to perspire so much.

The quality of insulation in a garment in terms of heat and cold will be widely managed by the thickness and density of its component fabrics. High thickness and low density make insulation better. It is observed in many cases that thermal insulation is offered by air gaps between the garment layers.

However, the external temperature also influences the effectiveness of the insulation. The more extreme the temperature, be it very high or very low, the less effective the insulation becomes. Thus, a garment designed for its capability to protect against heat or cold is chosen by its wearer on the expectation of the climate in which the garment is to be worn.

Though, a garment produced from a thick fabric will have more weight, and the freedom of movement of the wearer will be restricted. Clearly then a garment designed from an intelligent fabric, whose nature can change according the external temperature, can offer superior protection. However, such a garment must be comfortable for the wearer.

Temperature change effect of PCMs
PCM microcapsules can create small, transitory heating and cooling effects in garment layers when the temperature of the layers reaches the PCM transition temperature. The effect of phase change materials on the thermal comfort of protective clothing systems is likely to be highest when the wearer is frequently going through temperature transients (ie, going back and forth between a warm and cold environment) or from time to time touching or handling cold objects. The temperature of the PCM garment layers must vary frequently for the buffering effect to continue.

The most obvious example is changing of water into ice at 0° and to steam at 100°. There are many products that change phase near body temperature and are now being integrated in fibres and laminates, or coating substrates, that will alter phase at or near body temperature and so support the equilibrium of the body temperature and keep it more constant. It is for athletes in extreme conditions and people who are involved in extreme sports such as mountaineering and trekking. It is going to be used in industrial applications where people are very mobile, for example, in and out of cool rooms.

Effects on fabrics

When the condensed PCM is heated to the melting point, it absorbs heat energy as it moves from a solid state to a liquid state. This phase change produces a short-term cooling effect in the clothing layers. The heat energy may come from the body or from a warm environment. Once the PCM has totally melted the storage of heat stops

If the PCM garment is worn in a cold environment where the temperature is below the PCM’s freezing point and the fabric temperature drops below the transition temperature, the micro encapsulated liquid PCM will come back to a solid state, generating heat energy and a momentary warming effect. The developers assert that this heat exchange makes a buffering effect in clothing, minimize changes in skin temperature and continue the thermal comfort of the wearer.

The clothing layer(s) consisting PCMs must go through the transition temperature range before the PCMs change phase and either produce or absorb heat. Therefore, the wearer has to make some effort for the temperature of the PCM fabric to change. PCMs are transient phenomena. They have no effect in steady state thermal environment.

Active microclimate cooling systems need batteries, pumps, circulating fluids and latest control devices to give satisfactory body cooling, but their performance can be adjusted and made to continue for long period of time. They are, however, costly and complicated. Present passive microclimate devices use latent phase change; either by liquid to gas evaporation of water (Hydroweave), a solid to liquid phase shift by a cornstarch/water gel, or with a paraffin that is contained in plastic bladders.

The liquid evaporation garment is cheaper, but will only give minimum or short-term cooling in the high humid environment found in protective clothing. They must also be re-wetted to revitalize the garments for re-application. The water/ starch gel-type cooling garment is presently preferred by the military, and can offer both satisfactory and long time cooling near 32°F (0 degree Celsius), but it can also feel very cold to the skin and needs a very cold freezer (5°F) to completely recharge or rejuvenate the garment. When completely charged, its gel-PCMs are somewhat rigid blocks, and the garment has limited breathability.

The other paraffin PCM garments are comparatively cheaper, but their plastic bladders can split, thus dripping their contents or leading to a serious fire hazard. In addition, their paraffin PCM melts about 65°F (18°C) and must be recharged at temperatures below 50°F (10°C) in a refrigerator or ice-chest. Their rate of cooling also reduces with time because paraffin blocks are thermal insulators and control the heat that can be transmitted into or out of them. The plastic bladders used to contain the PCM also strictly limit airflow and breathability of the garment, thus reducing their comfort.

Uses of PCM

Automotive textiles

The scientific theory of temperature control by PCMs has been deployed in various ways for the manufacturing of textiles. In summer, the temperature inside the passenger compartment of an automobile can increase significantly when the car is parked outside. In order to regulate the interior temperature while driving the car, many cars are equipped with air conditioning systems; though, providing adequate cooling capacity needs a lot of energy. Hence the application of Phase Change Material technology in various uses for the automotive interior could offer energy savings, as well as raising the thermal comfort of the car interior.

Apparel active wears

Active wear is expected to provide a thermal equilibrium between the heat produced by the body while performing a sport and the heat released into the environment. Normal active wear garments do not satisfy these needs always. The heat produced by the body in laborious activity is often not discharged into the environment in the required amount, thus resulting in thermal stress situation. On the other hand, in the periods of rest between activities, less heat is produced by the human body. Considering the same heat release, hypothermia is likely to occur. Application of PCM in clothing supports in regulating the thermal shocks, and thus, thermal stress to the wearer, and supports in increasing his/ her efficiency of work under high stress.

Lifestyle apparel – elegant fleece vests, men’s and women’s hats, gloves and rainwear.

Outdoor sports – apparel jackets and jacket linings, boots, golf shoes, running shoes, socks and ski and snowboard gloves.

From genuine uses in space suits and gloves, phase change materials are also used in consumer products.

Aerospace textiles

Phase Change Materials used in current consumer products primarily were made for application in space suits and gloves to protect astronauts from higher temperature fluctuations while performing extra-vehicular activities in space.

The usefulness of the insulation stems from micro encapsulated Phase Change Materials (micro-PCMs) primarily created to make warm the gloved hands of space-strolling astronauts. The materials were accepted ideal as a glove liner, to support during temperature extremes of the space environment.

Medical textiles

Textiles having Phase Change Materials (PCMs) could soon find uses in the medical sector. To raise the thermo-physical comfort of surgical clothing such as gowns, caps and gloves. In bedding products like mattress covers, sheers and blankets. A product, which helps the effort to stay the patient warm enough in an operation by giving insulation tailored to the body’s temperature.

Other uses of PCM

Phase Change Materials are at the moment being used in textiles, which include the extremities: gloves, boots, hats, etc. Various PCMs can be selected for various uses. For example the temperature of the skin near the torso is about 33°C (91°F). Though, the skin temperature of the feet is nearly 30 -31 °c. These PCM materials can be useful down to 16°C, enough to ensure the comfort of someone wearing a ski boot in the snow. They are increasingly applied in body-core protection and it will shift into the areas of blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses and mattress pads.

PCM Types

Standard phase change materials are generally a polymer/carrier filled with thermally conductive filler, which changes from a solid to a high-viscosity liquid (or semi-solid) state at a certain transition temperature. These materials conform well to irregular surfaces and possess wetting properties like thermal greases, which considerably decrease the contact resistance at the distinctive interfaces. Because of this composite structure, phase change materials are capable of surviving against mechanical forces during shock and vibration, safeguarding the die or component from mechanical damage. Moreover, the semi-solid state of these materials at high temperature determines issues linked to “pump-out” under thermo-mechanical flexure.

When heated to a targeted transition temperature, the material considerably softens to a near liquid-like physical state in which the thermally conductive material slightly expands in volume. This volumetric growth makes the more thermally conductive material to flow into and replace the microscopic air gaps existed in between the heat sink and electronic component. With the air gaps filled between the thermal surfaces, a high degree of wetting of the two surfaces lessens the contact resistance.

In general, there are two types of phase changes materials:

. Thermally conductive and electrically insulating.
. Electrically conductive.

The main dissimilarity between the thermally and electrically conductive materials is the film or carrier that the phase change polymer is coated with. With the electrically insulating material, lowest amount of voltage isolation properties can be achieved.

Analysis of the thermal barrier function of Phase Change Materials in textiles

Producers can now use PCMs to give thermal comfort in a huge range of garments. But to know how much and what kind of PCM to apply, as well as modification of the textile, in order to make a garment fit for its purpose, it is essential to quantify the effect of the active thermal barrier offered by these materials.

The total thermal capacity of the PCM in many products depends on its specific thermal capacity and its quantity. The required quantity can be expected by considering the application conditions, the desired thermal effect and its duration and the thermal capacity of the specific PCM. The structure of the carrier system and the end-use product also affects the thermal efficiency of the PCM, which has to be measured with respect to the material selection and the product design.

Prospect of PCM

The main challenge in developing textile PCM structure is the method of their use. Encapsulation of PCMs in a polymeric shell is an evident selection, but it adds stiff weight to the active material. Efficient encapsulation, core-to-wall ratio, out put of encapsulation, stability during application and incorporation of capsules onto fabric structure are some of the technological aspects being measured.
Though PCMs are being promoted in various types of apparel and connected products, the applications in which they can really work are limited. As superior test methods are developed for PCMs, makers of PCM materials and garments will have to further cautiously target the markets in which their products do work well.


Since a huge amount has been invested in research and development in these areas in the developed counties, it is expected that very soon all-season outfits will be mass-produced. For example, in Britain, scientists have designed an acrylic fibre by integrating microcapsules covering Phase Change Materials. These fibres have been used for producing lightweight all-season blankets.

A New Place to Call Home for the Cowboys – Arlington, Texas

The NFL Dallas Cowboys have been at the forefront of the League for more than forty years. They have consistently been a force on the field and are considered to be the most valuable sports franchise in North America. The Cowboys joined the league as an expansion team in 1960 and called the Cotton Bowl home for the following decade. Since 1971 the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have called Texas Stadium, a purpose built stadium, in Irving, Texas, home. All that will change in 2009 when Cowboys football moves to a new stadium in the city of Arlington, Texas. The city of Arlington founded in 1875, was named after General Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House, Arlington County, Virginia. In 1876 the railroad arrived and in 1884 the city was incorporated. Thriving as a result of cotton gins and farming, by 1910 Arlington was a city that boasted water, electricity natural gas, a telephone system and a public school system. Prior to World War II the population of Arlington was over four thousand. Post World War II the city underwent a major boom starting in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. From 1950 through to 1990 the automotive and aerospace development lead to a major population growth in Arlington

Arlington, Texas, located in Tarrant County within the metropolitan area of Dallas-Fort Worth has a population today of over 350,000 and is the seventh largest city in Dallas.

Besides the automotive and aerospace industry, Arlington became home to the Six Flags Over Texas Theme Park in 1961, the oldest park of the Six Flags amusement parks and theme parks chain. Arlington is also home to three post-secondary institutions: the University of Texas at Arlington (the third largest institution of the University of Texas System), the Southeast Campus of Tarrant County College and Arlington Baptist College. Arlington is a sports oriented city. In 1972 the Washington Senators baseball team relocated to Arlington where they play as the Texas Rangers. And, of course, 2009 will mark the Dallas Cowboys move to Arlington and the opening of the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium. As well, like the rest of Texas, Friday night high school football in Arlington is an obsession with five high schools in the city keeping the fans entertained on Friday nights. The future home of the Cowboys in Arlington was cemented in November 2004 when city residents voted to approve a tax increase to fund the $325 million public funding portion of the stadium project. In 2005, the final site for the stadium in Arlington was chosen and in 2006 excavation at the site began. The original cost of the stadium was estimated at $650 million. Today the estimated cost is in excess of $1 billion potentially making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever to be built. The city of Arlington has been prosperous over the year’s thanks in large part to its automotive and aerospace industry. The city will no doubt continue to prosper and will no doubt be forever changed in 2009 with the arrival of, arguably its most famous occupants to date, the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and all the team’s future football card players. Arlington, Texas can now claim a piece of Dallas Cowboys history.

Job Retraining Doesn’t Work For Everyone

A search on the internet will bring up thousands of articles about job retraining. As I recently studied some of the data presented in these articles and resources there was one common thread. Not everyone was better off because of these retraining programs.

One such article found on the website of CBS News states that many are indeed getting help but that this help does not always translate into a better job. It states that “there has been a shift in the United States from jobs that produce goods to those that provide services”. So for many displaced workers this is actually a good trend because many of them have a skill set that can be transferred over to the services sector.

Most of my article will discuss the opportunities that abound because of this trend (I’ll be addressing that shortly).

Current job retraining programs are offered either by employers who are in the process of laying off their employees or by various government agencies set up precisely to offer this type of assistance. In theory these job retraining programs should be a god-send for such employees but the facts reveal a different reality.

This was addressed in a recent article in The New York Times which stated “an internal Labor Department report says the Government job training program for workers hurt by foreign trade is largely ineffective and used primarily as an income crutch for the unemployed”.

Another issue that complicates the ineffectiveness of job retraining programs is the fact that there has been very slow economic growth this year, and it’s expected there won’t be enough to spur job growth next year, either. In essence, there is a strong possibility that once you complete your job retraining you may still be out of a job. So what options does one have in such a climate?

Welcome to the Information Age

A good chunk of the jobs that have been eliminated in the U.S. are in the textiles, printing businesses, automotive, apparel and other industries. Those jobs are gone because of foreign competition and new technology.

According to the same New York Times article, “Many people find they’re forced to do something new, so they’re doing one of three things: taking on work they’re over-qualified to do (a lot of people right now are under-employed); pursuing their passions or turning hobbies into careers”. This group of people are actually finding a whole new field opening up to them that is more resistant to current economic turmoil. They are marketing their knowledge and skills to a broader scope of employers and sometimes customers.

In order to succeed in the midst of any set of economic conditions a successful worker (self-employed included) need to have more than just job retraining options. Options that will open new doors because the ground work has already been laid. For many of you this has already been done because of your networking efforts and marketing of your resume with the appropriate job placement services. Here’s a thought – instead of servicing or securing customers for your current or prospective employer why not attract your own customers?

Make Your Knowledge Sell

If you’ve been in the work force for any length of time then you’ve had a chance to acquire some very valuable experience and knowledge in a particular niche. Most employers provide ongoing training that helps us maintain or improve our productivity. For example if you’re in the insurance or medical field you’re always being sent to training classes or seminars to keep abreast of what’s happening in the industry. You’ve been accumulating a great deal of knowledge that only your employer was benefiting from. Now’s your chance to make your knowledge sell.

Telecommuting for the Workplace Disabled

One category you don’t read about much with regards to the current level of unemployment in this country is the disabled and the job retraining opportunities available to them. Many who are currently unemployed are in this state because of a workplace injury or a condition brought on because of their job. Many times this makes it difficult or nearly impossible to find new work.

These disabilities or physical limitations hinder job candidates from even getting out to the job site to hold an interview. The good news is that even for these candidates in many cases they can still turn their knowledge and expertise into an income generating vehicle right from their own home. Many employers are willing to hire candidates to telecommute because of the savings involved for the employer. Telecommuting gives many employers the chance to hire highly qualified people from around the country or the world without incurring significant relocation expenses. In some cases this eventually leads to the opportunity for these employees to branch out on their own and do some freelancing. This is one of the most powerful forms of job retraining.

Time to think “Outside the Box”

One thing is for sure. Things will never be what they once were. Our global economy is making sure of that. How it effects you depends on whether you see your glass as “half full” or “half empty”.

I experienced what was for me a traumatic loss in 1999. After eighteen years of trying to build a successful career in the Management Services industry I was suddenly unemployed. During that time I never once thought about networking or even building a resume. I was so focused on getting the results I believed would land me that secure position at the top. I really could have used some job retraining at that time.

If you’d like to find out how I overcame this predicament you can read the rest of this story on my website. I’m encouraging everyone to step outside their comfort zone and do what is best for them.

Luis A. Castillo is an accomplished webmaster and affiliate marketer who has been effectively marketing online for over 3 years. He specializes in the development of inexperienced online marketers through his blog and newsletters.

His passion is working with those who desire to step out on their own to create a more secure source of income in their spare time by working from home.