Menu Close

Phase Change Matters Newsletter Oct 2 2015

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,


ThermoSafe PCM experts to lead cold chain forum workshop

Two PCM experts from Sonoco ThermoSafeKen Maltas, director of engineering, and Iftekhar Ahmed, senior design engineer – are among the workshop leaders at next week’s Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

Maltas and Ahmed will lead a Tuesday morning session, “Creating a Risk Model for the Development of Passive Shipping Systems: Linking Control and Risk to Total Cost.” On Wednesday morning, Sonoco’s Ben VanderPlas and Cardinal Health‘s Chris Anderson will present “Blue is the New Green,” a case study on the development of sustainable, affordable and operationally efficient packaging solutions.

Other workshop, training and presentation topics include temperature-controlled clinical trial materials, regulatory guidance, risk-reduction strategies, common shipping problems, data integrity, minimizing the impact of harsh winters and the freezing and preparation of phase change materials.

Forum sponsors and exhibitors include AAR Cold Chain Solutions, Cold Chain Technologies, Cryopak, EFP Corp., Packaging Technology Group, Pelican BioThermal, Pluss Advanced Technologies and va-Q-tec AG.


Temperature-controlled cargo containers

U.S. patent application 20150274415 (applicant AAR Manufacturing Inc., Wood Dale, Ill.):

“Temperature controlled cargo containers may include thermal masses conditioned to temperatures above and/or below a target temperature. Example thermal masses may include plates including phase change materials, such as eutectic materials. One or more fans and flapper valves may be selectively operated to circulate air in the cargo container across one or more of the thermal masses to maintain the temperature within the cargo container within a prescribed temperature band. Some example temperature controlled cargo containers may include refrigeration units and/or heaters for regenerating the thermal masses when receiving power from an external power source and/or may include one or more rechargeable batteries for providing power during transport or storage independent of external power sources.”

Temperature management in clutch and brake assemblies

U.S. patent application 20150275993 (applicant BorgWarner Inc., Auburn Hills, Mich.):

“A clutch assembly, a torque converter clutch assembly, and a brake assembly for a vehicle are disclosed. The clutch assembly and the brake assembly may have at least one reaction plate comprising an internal cavity containing a phase change material. The torque converter clutch assembly may have a front cover plate comprising an internal cavity containing a phase change material. The phase change material may be capable of absorbing at least some friction-induced heat generated at a friction interface of the reaction plate or front cover plate when the clutch assembly, the torque converter assembly, or the torque converter assembly is shifted to a closed position, such as when the clutch is activated or when the brakes are applied.”


Hungry mealworms could keep expanded polystyrene out of landfills

Mealworms munching on EPSIn collaboration with researchers in China, a Stanford University team has found that tiny mealworms can live on a diet of expanded polystyrene, converting it into carbon dioxide and waste pellets that appear to be safe to use as soil for crops.

EPS is made from polystyrene, one of the most widely used plastics in the world. EPS foam has good insulation properties and is widely used in coffee cups, coolers and temperature-sensitive packaging. But it has long been considered to be difficult to recycle. On July 1, New York City outlawed the sale, possession and distribution of single-use polystyrene foam.


Pelican BioThermal offers 12-day Credo Xtreme shipper rental

Pelican BioThermal is offering a new pallet shipper rental service, with options such as preconditioning and drop-off at consolidation centers worldwide. The company says the service, Credo on Demand, provides a less costly and more manageable alternative to active shipper systems.

The service offers 12-day standard rentals, including qualification reports and a clean, refurbished Credo Xtreme, the company’s flagship pallet shipper. Customers can pick up and drop off a shipper at a Pelican BioThermal service center or return it to a regional consolidation center for an additional fee.

Cold Chain Technologies to unveil new pallet shipping system

Cold Chain Technologies plans to introduce a new pallet shipping system, the KoolTemp GTS Evolution 1400L, at next week’s Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Logistics Global Forum in Boston.

The Holliston, Mass., company says the 1,400-liter system is designed for high-value, palletized pharmaceuticals and other health care products and offers five-plus days of extreme temperature protection. The system features Koolit advanced phase change material and KoolDesigns thermal modeling. The company says the system is qualified for 2-8º C (available now), controlled room temperature (available Q4) and frozen (available Q1 2016) applications.

The company will also preview its newest innovations, including Koolit advanced PCM gel refrigerants, the KoolTemp GTS Enshield PCM pallet cover and a reusable version of the GTS Excel qualified shipping system.

AWARDS, blog and newsletter are finalists in 2015 Digital PR Awards

Entropy Solutions, maker of PureTemp, the world’s first 100 percent renewable phase change material, has been named a finalist in the 2015 Digital PR Awards in three categories: website redesign/relaunch, blog and e-mail newsletter.

The awards program, sponsored by PR News, recognizes the year’s most outstanding digital communicators and campaigns. Winners will be announced Nov. 9 at the annual Digital PR Awards luncheon at the Yale Club in New York City.

Other finalists in the three categories include Coca-Cola Inc., ESPN, MasterCard, Genentech and Adobe Systems Inc. For a list of finalists in other categories and more about the annual awards, see


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

From Journal of Physical Chemistry:

One-Step Preparation of Form-Stable Phase Change Material through Self-Assembly of Fatty Acid and Graphene

From Applied Energy:

Paraffin/expanded vermiculite composite phase change material as aggregate for developing lightweight thermal energy storage cement-based composites
Application of phase change materials for thermal energy storage in concentrated solar thermal power plants: A review to recent developments

From Advances in Mechanical Engineering:

Study on thermal property of lauric–palmitic–stearic acid/vermiculite composite as form-stable phase change material for energy storage

From Energy and Buildings:

Optical properties of a liquid paraffin-filled double glazing unit
Active thermal mass enhancement using phase change materials
Fabrication of paraffin@SiO2 shape-stabilized composite phase change material via chemical precipitation method for building energy conservation
A Hierarchical Scheduling and Control Strategy for Thermal Energy Storage Systems

From Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews:

Literature review on the use of phase change materials in glazing and shading solutions

From Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells:

Paraffin/palygorskite composite phase change materials for thermal energy storage

From International Journal for Research in Applied Science & Engineering Technology:

Numerical investigation of the effects of natural convection on the melting process of phase change material in cylindrical annulus [pdf]

From RSC Advances:

Form-stable phase change material made with cellulose acetate nanofibrous mat from bicomponent electrospinning and incorporated capric-myristic-stearic acid ternary eutectic mixture for thermal energy storage/retrieval


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

More than 340 of your peers have joined a new 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 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 this week include Jamie Chasteen, senior product manager at Cold Chain Technologies; Sara Tahan Latibari, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Malaya; Katharina Wuensche, business development at va-Q-tec Ltd.; and Benjamin Rime, who just completed his master’s at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Benjamin writes:

“I am actually searching for a first job. My master thesis was about the use of PCM for a baby incubator made for developing countries. I have made a prototype of the heat exchanger and I went to Yaoundé in Cameroon in order to discuss with local people and also to visit hospitals to see if the concept will fit properly.”


Got a question about PCMs or TES? Ask our experts

Two Entropy Solutions advisors, Dr. Mohammed Farid of the University of Auckland and Lucas B. Hyman of Goss Engineering, are ready to answer your questions about phase change material and thermal energy storage. We’ll select the best questions sent to and post the answers here each Friday.

Jennifer, a visitor from Australia, asks:

“Is there a benefit in installing PCM in a room that does not receive passive heat (sunshine), for example a south-facing room in the southern hemisphere? Should it be installed in every wall and ceiling?”

Dr. Farid’s response:

“If the objective is to save energy for solar radiation it is better not to put PCM in all rooms. We have shown (under publication) that simulation or some experimental measurements of temperature variation in each room is needed to make the decision on where to put the PCM. However, sometimes we put PCM to create peak load shifting in heating or cooling which may translate to money saving rather than energy saving.”