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Phase Change Matters Newsletter Aug 18 2017

The Phase Change Matters e-mail newsletter is a weekly summary of the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. To subscribe, visit For more frequent updates, follow @puretemp on Twitter or visit the Phase Change Matters blog,


Ethylene glycol improves performance of SAT for use in warming apparel

Scientists at India’s Defense Laboratory Jodhpur and the Indian Institute of Technology-Jodhpur have designed a sodium acetate trihydrate-ethylene glycol composite phase change material that could be used in vests and other apparel to protect the wearer from frostbite and hypothermia.

The addition of ethylene glycol in aqueous SAT “enhances the softness of SAT crystallites, its degree of supercooling and most importantly the effective heat releasing time by ~10%,” the researchers explained in a paper published last month in Nature‘s Scientific Reports. 


Free webinars on PCMs and temperature-assured packaging

Sonoco ThermoSafe is offering a series of webinars aimed at customers in the temperature-assurance packaging sector. The first, “Phase Change Materials: What are they, and how can they change your business?” will be held Tuesday, Aug. 22. Registration is also open for “Insulation Materials,” “Ambient Temperature Profiles,” “2-8° C Solutions,” “Active vs. Passive Solutions” and “Single-Use vs. Reusable Packaging.”


Building integrated PV roofing assemblies with PCM

U.S. patent application 20170237387 (SolarCity Corp., San Mateo, Calif.):

“A solar roof assembly, comprising: a support material covering a portion of a roof surface; a plurality of standing seam metal roof pans arranged in columns on the roof deck over the support material at a first height above the roof surface; a plurality of support pans arranged in columns on the roof surface adjacent to at least one column of standing seam metal roof pan, each support pan comprising a pair of standing seams running a length of each side edge thereof and having a plurality of ridges and valleys and between each side edge; a plurality of photovoltaic modules arranged end to end in columns over the plurality of support pans on the plurality of ridges. … The solar roof assembly [may include] a heat storage material positioned between at least one pairing of the photovoltaic modules and support pans, wherein the heat storage material comprises at least one compartment having a phase change material can transition from a first phase to a second phase at a transition temperature.”

ABB patent application drawingPressure plate with PCM

U.S. patent application 20170234389 (Applicant ABB Technology Ltd., Zurich, Switzerland):

“A pressure plate for a friction coupling such as a clutch or brake system is disclosed in the present application. The pressure plate includes one or more pockets with a phase change material disposed therein [76]. The phase change material operates to absorb and release heat when the friction coupling cycles between activation and deactivation so as to minimize a maximum temperature of the pressure plate.”

Multifunctional temperature self-regulating film and face mask

U.S. patent application20170231884 (applicant Handy Technology, Zhuhai, China):

“The present invention [below] discloses a multifunctional temperature self-regulating multilayer film, from outside to inside comprising at least: a carrier layer loaded with functional material, and a thermal-insulation layer directly contacted with the skin; wherein the carrier layer loaded with functional material has a sealed cavity sealed with a flexible water-impermeable material, the sealed cavity is at least loaded with a refrigerating or heat-generating chemical material; wherein thermal-insulation layer is made of a material having waterproof and thermal-insulation properties. The present multilayer film can be manufactured into a face mask or eye mask for use on facial skin. … [The] the sealed cavity is loaded with a solid-liquid phase change material which generates heat when the material changes from liquid to solid, and an actuating means which is used to trigger an exothermic state of the solid-liquid phase change material.”

Handy mask patent drawing

Polymeric prosthetic and orthotic devices with heat and hardness control

U.S. patent application 20170231788 (applicant Ohio Willow Wood Co., Mount Sterling, Ohio):

“Prosthetic liners, prosthetic sockets and prosthetic suspension sleeves, as well as orthotic components, having enhanced thermally conductivity and/or enhanced heat absorption capabilities. Such components may be used in various combinations to create assemblies and systems that are operative to better transfer heat away from and/or absorb heat produced by residual or intact limbs of a user.”

Thermal locking mechanism for a medication delivery device

U.S. patent application 20170224929 (applicant Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, Ind.):

“A medication injection device includes a housing and a needled syringe supported by the housing. The needle syringe has a plunger and a volume containing medication. The medication injection device further includes an expelling mechanism operably coupled to the plunger. Additionally, the device includes a thermal locking mechanism  operably coupled to the expelling mechanism, comprising a material which is solid when the device is refrigerated and transitions to a liquid or gel-like state at a phase-change temperature when the device is taken out of refrigeration and warms up together with the contained drug to a temperature which is suitable for performing an injection.”


Ulster University has launched an EU-funded €6.7 million cross-border research project to develop a range of consumer-owned energy storage resources. The collaborative effort includes three research institutes and 14 businesses, including Sunamp Ltd., maker of PCM-based heat batteries.

• Registration is open for the first AOCS China Section Congress on Oilseeds and Co-Products to be held Nov. 10-12 in Wuxi, China. 

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new technique to significantly improve the thermal conductivity of polymers

Cryoport Inc. has expanded its portfolio of cold chain logistics solutions with the launch of C3 shipper, designed for high-value materials used in regenerative therapies that require temperature-controlled transportation within the 2-8° C temperature range.

SaltX Technology of Sweden and Impacts Solar of Australia have reached an agreement to jointly develop, market and sell a long-term thermal storage system for concentrated solar power.


For our full list of recent academic research, see Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

From Energy and Buildings:

Improved thermal properties of stearyl alcohol/high density polyethylene/expanded graphite composite phase change materials for building thermal energy storage
Development and thermal performance of an expanded perlite-based phase change material wallboard for passive cooling in building
Numerical and experimental investigation of an insulation layer with phase change materials (PCMs)
Polyurethane foams with microencapsulated phase change material: Comparative analysis of thermal conductivity characterization approaches
Flammability assessment of Phase Change Material wall lining and insulation materials with different weight fractions
Thermal analysis of nanoparticle-enhanced phase change material solidification in a rectangular latent heat storage unit including natural convection

From Energy Conversion and Management:

A portable solar-powered air-cooling system based on phase-change materials for a vehicle cabin
Thermal performance and economic evaluation of a newly developed phase change material for effective building encapsulation
Fabrication of three-dimensional metal-graphene network phase change composite for high thermal conductivity and suppressed subcooling phenomena

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

The impact of the heating/cooling rate on the thermoregulating properties of textile materials modified with PCM microcapsules
Researches of composite phase change material cooling/resistance wire preheating coupling system of a designed 18650-type battery module

From Solar Energy:

Fatty acids/1-dodecanol binary eutectic phase change materials for low temperature solar thermal applications: Design, development and thermal analysis

From Energy:

An Experimental Evaluation of Direct Flow Evacuated Tube Solar Collector Integrated with Phase Change Material

From Energy Fuels:

Synthesis and Performances of Phase Change Materials Microcapsules with a Polymer/BN/TiO2 Hybrid Shell for Thermal Energy Storage

From International Journal of Renewable Energy Development:

Performance of Loaded Thermal Storage Unit with a Commercial Phase Change Materials based on Energy and Exergy Analysis

From Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics:

Heat capacities of some sugar alcohols as phase change materials for thermal energy storage applications


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than a thousand of your peers have joined a LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. The Phase Change Matters group is an interactive complement to the award-winning blog and newsletter of the same name.

LinkedIn logoYou are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members include Thomas Bathon, Ph.D. candidate in physics at Julius-Maximilians-University, Würzburg, Germany;  Shahriar Kabir, environmental engineering student, University of Waterloo, Canada;  Intan Kumalasari, Ph.D. student in pavement engineering, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia; and Adalberto Aviles, assistant engineer at ThermAvant International, Columbia, Mo.