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Phase Change Matters Newsletter June 10 2016

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,


PCM-maker Alexium adds clients in bedding industry

Alexium International has announced an agreement to sell its new flame-retardant phase change material to an unnamed U.S.-based textile finisher serving the bedding industry.

Alexium, based in Perth, Australia, and Greer, S.C., announced in May that it had reached a PCM sales agreement with one of the world’s largest producers of mattress ticking.

 “Alexium is now in production or full-scale trials with six global mattress fabric finishers,” said CEO Nicholas Clark, “and for the first time, a major manufacturer in apparel is evaluating our flame-retardant phase change material technology.”


Remember that warming trivet? It’s still not a go-go

TheM warming trivetMonths after falling short of raising $30,000 on IndieGoGo, developers of a PCM-powered thermal dining placemat called TheM said in January that they hoped to develop a successful design by the end of February. 

The team is now apologizing again, telling backers this week: “The PCM material did not work as intended and [we are] trying to develop a solution that can still add value to the innovation. Please bear with us and within the next 60 days [we hope] to have a product with which [we] can reward your support and patience.”


Temperature-controlled product shipper with PCM bladder

Patent drawing of shipper with PCM bladderU.S. patent application 20160161171 (applicant Packaging Technology Group Inc., Fall River, Mass):

“A temperature controlled product shipper includes a phase change material bladder which can be filled at the point of packaging. The shipper includes an internal product box and an outer box where the product box is received within the outer box. The phase change material bladder is received within a cavity defined between the outer surface of the product box and the inner surface of the outer box. The shipper may also include an insulated liner which is received between the product box and the bladder.”


‘Phase Change’ ice sculpture simulates effects of warming climate

Phase Change,” an ice sculpture designed to illustrate the effects of climate change, is among the exhibits at this year’s Northern Spark all-night arts festival in Minneapolis.

Twelve thousand pounds of ice harvested from Lake Calhoun in March – and stored “passively” in a custom ice house until this weekend – will be arranged in three walls. Each wall will face a bank of infrared lamps.

“The heat produced by the lights,” according to the creators, “corresponds to historical and projected climate change data and melts the sculpture according to three different climate change scenarios: a pre-industrial simulation that depicts climatic conditions as if the industrial era never happened; the present day scenario; and the ‘worst case’ scenario that demonstrates the effects of the most extreme climate change forecasts.”

The phase changing begins at 9 p.m. Saturday at West River Parkway and Portland Avenue and is scheduled to last until sunrise. But with a high in the low 90s Saturday and a low near 70 overnight, there might not be much left to look at by 5:26 a.m.

Phase Change ice sculpture


Cold Chain Technologies, a manufacturer and distributor of temperature-controlled packaging solutions, has promoted Richard M. Formato to the new position of principal technologist. Formato led the commercial development of the company’s line of phase change materials and, more recently, gelled PCMs.

• New from Research and Markets: “Temperature Controlled Pharmaceutical Packaging Solutions (TCPPS) Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026.”

Ira Smith, director of strategic development for global transport and biologistics at Pelican BioThermal, was among the panelists at the FlyPharma conference in Brussels this week. The topic: The increasing appeal of inter-continental rail freight services and sea freight.

Glacier Tek cooling vests are profiled in the June issue of OR Today magazine. The vests, which use PureTemp bio-based phase change material to maintain thermal comfort, are being marketed as a way to address heat stress among surgeons and operating room staff, who endure “bright lights, sterile gowns, lead aprons, physical exertion and time stress.”

GreenCE is offering a free hourlong webinar, “Reinventing Green Building: Focus on Carbon & Leverage Technology,” at 1 p.m. June 14. Instructors will discuss the limitations of LEED certification in various U.S. market segments and identify alternatives to LEED certification. 

• The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has named Peter Green as the new deputy laboratory director for science and technology. Green is a professor of materials science and engineering, chemical engineering and applied physics at the University of Michigan.  

Monodraught‘s Cool-Phase cooling and ventilation system has been specified for Harrogate’s new civic headquarters, now under construction in County Durham, England. The system combines a phase change material thermal energy store with an intelligently controlled air handling unit to actively ventilate and cool buildings without the use of refrigerants. The company says the system contributes credits toward BREEAM standards for lifecycle costs, indoor air quality and low- and zero-carbon technologies. 

• HVAC manufacturer Trane Inc. has presented its Energy Efficiency Leader Award to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. An ice thermal storage system cools the McAfee Concert Hall by producing ice at night, when energy rates are cheaper. And a geothermal heating and cooling system regulates indoor temperatures at the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center.


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

From Materials Today: Proceedings:

Thermal behaviour study of phase change material of a latent heat storage system
Preparation of organic based ternary eutectic fatty acid mixture as phase change material (PCM), optimizing their thermal properties by enriched solar treated exfoliated graphite for energy storage

From Journal of Energy Storage:

Thermal characteristic of nanocomposite phase change materials during solidification process

From AIP Conference Proceedings:

Geopolymer encapsulation of a chloride salt phase change material for high temperature thermal energy storage
Thermophysical properties and corrosion characterization of low cost lithium containing nitrate salts produced in northern Chile for thermal energy storage
New materials for thermal energy storage in concentrated solar power plants

From Journal of Clean Energy Technologies:

Direct Incorporation of Butyl Stearate as Phase Change Material into Concrete for Energy Saving in Buildings [pdf]

From Applied Energy:

Experimental investigations on cylindrical latent heat storage units with sodium acetate trihydrate composites utilizing supercooling

From Energy Conversion and Management:

Thermophysical properties of phase change emulsions prepared by D-phase emulsification

From Energy and Buildings:

Two performance indices of TES apparatus: comparison of MPCM slurry vs. stratified water storage tank

From Renewable Energy:

Analysis of the effect of eccentricity and operational parameters in PCM-filled single-pass shell and tube heat exchangers
Fluid flow and heat transfer in PCM panels arranged vertically and horizontally for application in heating systems


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 750 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.

You are invited to join the group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world. New members include David Martínez-Maradiaga, a postdoctoral fellow in energy engineering at the University of Padova, Italy; Graham Geraghty, engineering manager at Fichtner Consulting Engineers, Stockport, U.K.; architect Sina Memarian of Iran; and consultant Pierre Charreyron of Grenoble, France. Pierre writes:

“I am a consultant for the advanced materials industry and I am currently involved in a general survey of PCM markets and applications. I have already spoken with a number of industry experts, and I would be very happy to have further view points.

“There are some market reports out there claiming that the PCM market is huge and exploding. Well, from my initial contacts, this seems to be a little inaccurate. It very much looks to me like an emerging market with some interesting potential applications, provided economic barriers can be overcome. In order to make a reasonable picture, one has to differentiate the various levels of the value chain, and the various application segments. Each segment has its own drivers and constraints.

“What do you think?”