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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.

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Patent application: Reflective temperature modulating blanket

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 11, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190106878 (inventor Robert Joe Alderman, Poteet, Texas):

"A temperature modulating blanket utilizing a reflective surface to block radiation away from a phase change material [110] during daylight and in thermal conductivity with the material to allow heat conduction out of the material at night at a faster rate than it is absorbed during the daylight. The reflective surface is uniquely tailored to both serve a reflective function during daylight while also being sufficiently thermally conductive to facilitate the heat conduction as indicated during night. Additionally, the facilities may be uniquely configured to promote an attic circulation that further facilitates freezing and recharge of the phase change material of the blanket during night hours."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190106878.pdf

Patent application: Gel comprising a phase change material

Ben Welter - Sunday, March 24, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190085226 (applicant Cold Chain Technologies Inc., Franklin, Mass.):

CCT PCM gel product"Gel including a phase-change material and a gelling agent. In one embodiment, the phase-change material may be n-tetradecane, n-hexadecane or mixtures thereof. The gelling agent may be a high molecular weight styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) triblock copolymer with a styrene:rubber ratio of about 30:70 to 33:67% by weight. To form the gel, the phase-change material and the gelling agent may be mixed at an elevated temperature relative to room temperature to partially, but not completely, dissolve the gelling agent. The mixture may then be cooled to room temperature. Alternatively, the phase-change material and the gelling agent may be mixed at room temperature, and the mixture may then be heated to form a viscoelastic liquid, which is then cooled to room temperature. The invention is also directed at a method of preparing the gel, a thermal exchange implement including the gel, and a method of preparing the thermal exchange implement."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190085226.pdf

Patent application: Multilayer thermal laminate

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 23, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190089027 (applicant Dell Products L.P., Round Rock, Texas):

"A multilayer thermal laminate with aerogel is used for a battery cell enclosure to improve thermal properties and to reduce thermal inhomogeneity in the form of localized hotspots that exceed a desired rated temperature, thereby enabling a more compact design within rated thermal design limits for a given electrical performance. ... [The third layer of the laminate] serves as a thermal storage medium and may accordingly be comprised of a phase change material, such as a wax. The phase change material may be selected to have a desired melting temperature range, such as between 30 C and 70 C, between 45 C and 65 C, or between 40 C and 60 C, in given implementations, among other possible melting temperature ranges."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190089027.pdf

Patent application: Removable sticker for cooling hot spots in cellular phones

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 23, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190086158 (inventor James Hirschfeld, Delray Beach, Fla.):

"A removable cooling sticker secured to the surface of a cellular telephone for extraction of heat from the cellular telephone. The cooling sticker is thin and sized to be conveniently carried. [Using phase change material as the active heat extraction material,] the cooling sticker is adhered to the cellular telephone at its hot spot for maximum efficiency. An optional feature employs thermal strips that indicate when the electronic device is exceeding a temperature threshold sticker."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190086158.pdf

Patent application: Mobile lab for rapid detection and analysis of biological targets

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190076844 (applicant MRIGlobal, Kansas City, Missouri):

"A mobile field-deployable laboratory to more conveniently enable the detecting, sequencing and analyzing of biological agents at the point-of-need. This device enables field operators to go from sample to actionable information in the field without the need for an internet connection or grid-based power. ... [The] cooling system includes a phase-change cooling system capable of holding a predetermined selected temperature constant for a predetermined time period."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190076844.pdf

Patent application: One-piece insulating container

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190077576 (inventors Drayton G. Miller, Dauphin Island, Ala., and William J. Gunn, Springfield, Ill.):

"A one-piece cushioning and insulating container and insulation template for forming the container are provided. The insulation template includes a case blank and an insulating member secured thereto. The template may be formed into a three-dimensional container that provides cushioning and insulating items contained inside the container by simultaneously folding the case blank and insulating member. The template is designed to provide a completely enclosed space that is cushioned and insulated on all sides. The dimensions of the template may be adjusted to create containers of varying dimensions. The container may be constructed of various materials with a layer of soft, flexible material secured therein. The template may have heating or cooling elements, including phase change materials, incorporated into insulating member."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190077576.pdf

Patent application: Personal cooling system

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

Zakai patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190076293 (inventor Hillel Zakai, Teaneck, N.J.):

"A personal cooling system for maintaining an individual at a preferred predetermined temperature in the outdoor environment of a venue, for an extended period of time, according to one embodiment includes a first cooling element comprising a phase change material (PCM) and at least one cooling station for providing any one of an additional one or more frozen cooling elements, each having a PCM, and at least one freezing medium for freezing any of said cooling elements. The cooling station is installed at the venue."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190076293.pdf

Patent application: Gas turbine engine having a heat absorption device

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190078516 (applicant General Electric Co., Schenectady, N.Y.):

"A gas turbine engine having a heat absorption device and an associated method are disclosed. The gas turbine engine includes a compressor, a combustor, a turbine, a bleed fluid cavity, and the heat absorption device. The combustor is coupled to the compressor. The turbine is coupled to the compressor and the combustor. The bleed fluid cavity is formed at a first predefined location in the compressor. The heat absorption device is disposed in the bleed fluid cavity and includes a casing, a flow path, and a phase change material. The casing includes an inlet and an outlet. The flow path is within the casing, extends between the inlet and the outlet, and directs an input bleed fluid separated from a fluid stream discharged from the compressor. The phase change material is filled in the casing, separated from the flow path."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190078516.pdf

Patent application: Dimensionally stable phase change material

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190078006 (applicant Microtek Laboratories Inc., Dayton, Ohio):

"Methods for producing a dimensionally stable phase change material (PCM), and dimensionally stable PCMs are disclosed. The methods include providing a porous base material, mixing a phase change material having a polar functional group with a substance that increases the polar attraction of the phase change material for the porous base material to form a mixture thereof; and, thereafter, mixing the mixture with the porous base material until a selected saturation of phase change material in the porous base material is reached. The methods may include filtering the porous base material after the selected saturation is reached to form a cake of dimensionally stable PCM and, thereafter, reducing the size of the dimensionally stable PCM to an average mean particle size of about 10 to about 50 μm, or more preferably 20 to 30 μm."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190078006.pdf

Patent application: Face mask having improved comfort through cooling of microclimate

Ben Welter - Monday, March 11, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190069611 (applicant Avent Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia):

Avant mask patent drawing"A multi-layered face mask coated with discontinuous patterns of phase change material are incorporated into the face mask construction to provide for cooling of the microclimate in the dead space of the face mask. Optimized cooling is achieved by strategic placement of layers coated with a phase change material within the mask construction and the amount and density of the phase change material in contact with the temperature sensitive areas of the face, as well as areas experiencing the maximum amount of flux from exhaled breath. The shape of the mask can also be adjusted to increase skin contact with the phase change material and decrease dead space volume, which reduces the volume of warm exhaled air and can provide sufficient cooling with less phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190069611.pdf