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The award-winning Phase Change Matters blog tracks the latest news and research on phase change materials and thermal energy storage. E-mail tips and comments to Ben Welter, communications director at Entropy Solutions. Follow the blog on Twitter at @PureTemp. Subscribe to the weekly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.




Patent application: Battery pack containing phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 22, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180053977 (University of Sherbrooke Research Consortium, Sherbrooke, Quebec):

"A battery pack for a vehicle is presented. The battery pack comprises a plurality of bricks, each brick of the plurality of bricks comprising a phase change material block, a side of the phase change material block defining a plurality of channels, and a plurality of battery cells, each battery cell being disposed at least in part in the phase change material block; and at least one connector for electrically connecting a first one of the plurality of bricks to a second one of the plurality of bricks, the at least one connector being disposed at least partially in one of the plurality of channels."

Patent application: Thermal composite material and compression sheet

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 22, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180049914 (applicant PolyPhysics Inc., Hampton, Va.):

PolyPhysics patent drawing"A temperature-controlled, compression sheet for use in hot or cold therapy applications, the sheet comprising: a composite sheet comprising a temperature control component and an elastic structural component; the temperature control component comprises a phase change material [13] having a predetermined, therapeutic, specific temperature of phase change from solid to liquid forms in the range of from about 32 degrees F. to about 122 degrees F.; and the elastic structural component is comprised of a material having elastomeric properties."

Patent application: Heat reflective coating

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180044775 (applicant General Cable Technologies Corp., Highland Heights, Ky.):

"Cables including a heat-reflective layer are disclosed. The heat-reflective layer includes a polymeric layer and metal particles. The metal particles are on or near the exposed surface of the heat-reflective layer. Methods of making a heat-reflective layer and cables including a heat-reflective layer rare also disclosed. ... [In] certain embodiments, a metallized polymeric layer can further include a thermoregulatory material through inclusion of a phase change material."

Patent application: Heated cleaning articles

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Clorox patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180042441 (applicant Clorox Co., Oakland, Calif.)

"Cleaning articles including a heat engine incorporated therein. The cleaning article may include a substrate (e.g., a non-woven wipe) including one or more layers. The heat engine may be in the wipe or pad, and includes a reactive metal composition which upon contact with a salt water (e.g., saline) composition, reacts to produce heat. The cleaning article may thus produce water vapor and/or steam upon activation of the heat engine. ... Any of the selectively heatable cleaning articles may include a phase change material on or within the article that may aid in regulating the temperature achieved by the cleaning article."

Patent application: Thermal management system

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 21, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180045432 (applicant Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind.):

"A thermal management system includes a closed dynamic cooling circuit, and a closed first steady-state cooling circuit. Each circuit has its own compressor, heat rejection exchanger, and expansion device. A thermal energy storage (TES) system is configured to receive a dynamic load and thermally couple the dynamic cooling circuit and the first steady-state cooling circuit. ... TES is a heat exchanger that includes a TES material such as wax or other material that can store energy, including via a phase change material which, as known in the art, stores and releases energy at a phase change temperature while changing phase from, for instance, a liquid to a solid."

Patent application: Storage systems and methods for medicines

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 08, 2018

Medicine container patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180036202 (inventors Sandy and Eric John Wengreen, Sammamish, Wash.):

"In some embodiments, devices to store medicines can include a chamber configured to store a medicine, a thermal bank, and an insulated cover. The thermal bank can be located inside the insulated cover. At least a portion of the chamber can be located inside the thermal bank. The thermal bank can include phase change materials. Storage devices can also include innovative structures that dramatically reduce the volume and weight of the storage devices while still shielding medicines from extreme outdoor environments."

Patent application: Heated lacrosse stick shaft

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 08, 2018

Heated lacrosse stick patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180036610 (inventors Samantha Kate Wolfe, Chappaqua, N.Y., Raeshon Lamont McNeil, Charlotte, N.C., and Jeremy Eric Losaw, Charlotte, N.C.):

"A heating apparatus for use with an athletic device having a shaft and a plurality of hand holding locations associated with portions of the shaft. The heating apparatus comprises a removable self-contained module configured to be received within an athletic device shaft and to emit heat to at least two hand-holding locations of the athletic device shaft. The self-contained module comprises a plurality of heating elements configured to emit heat to the at least two hand-holding locations. The self-contained module further comprises a power source connected to supply electrical power to the plurality of heating elements. A user-operable control is coupled to the power source and configured to selectively power on and regulate the heat released from the heating elements."

Patent application: Prosthesis cooling system

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180021152 (applicant Leto Solutions Inc., San Antonio, Texas):

"A prosthesis cooling system may comprise one or more thermoelectric cooling devices embedded in a prosthesis socket, a power source, and a power control circuit. The cooling system may use active or passive cooling, and may use a closed-loop temperature control system. ... In some embodiments, a phase-change material (PCM) may be used to assist in removing waste heat from the prosthesis"

Patent application: PCM for thermal therapy and delivery of active ingredients

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180021169 (applicant ALPS South LLC, St. Petersburg, Fla.):

"A soft thermoformable elastomer with a phase change material exhibiting high latent heat of fusion. The compound provides elasticity, softness, formability, and heat over an extended duration and to facilitate prolonged skin contact at elevated temperatures. Used in combination with active ingredients the increased temperature and formability provides enhanced transdermal delivery through the skin. Thermoplastic elastomers may be manufactured by mixing together plasticizing oil, a triblock copolymer, a paraffinic substance and one or more additives, e.g., an antioxidant, an antimicrobial agent, and/or other additives to form a mixture which melted then cooled into the thermoplastic elastomer. During cooling, the thermoplastic elastomer may be molded or otherwise formed into any number of articles including, but not limited to, prosthetic liners, prosthetic sleeves, external breast prostheses, breast enhancement bladders, masks, wound dressing sheets, wound dressing pads, socks, gloves, malleolus pads, metatarsal pads, shoe insoles, urinary catheters, vascular catheters, and balloons for medical catheters both vascular as well as urinary."

Patent application: Mat with thermostatic layer between two layers of foam

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180020842 (applicant SEDA Chemical Products Ltd., New Taipei City, Taiwan):

"A mat with a thermostatic layer between two layers of foam to reduce heat accumulation and the manufacturing process thereof, which includes a supporting foam layer, an air permeable foam layer, and the thermostatic layer; wherein the thermostatic layer lies on the top side of the supporting foam layer and includes phase change material (PCM) microcapsules and a bonding material; the air permeable foam layer has larger pores than the supporting foam layer, and has its bottom side attached to the thermostatic layer, and is thus bonded to the supporting foam layer via the bonding material. When a user lies on the air permeable foam layer, the user's body skin is not directly pressed against the PCM microcapsules, thereby allowing the PCM microcapsules to communicate with the ambient air through the pores in the air permeable foam layer and to dissipate heat rapidly for keeping the mat cool."