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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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PCM briefing: Thermal storage capacity on the rise; clinical trial for prosthetics liner

Ben Welter - Friday, October 27, 2017

• Thermal energy storage exceeds the capacity of battery storage now in operation, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. Greentech Media reports that a recent resurgence in concentrated solar power development promises to increase that advantage.

• New from QYResearch Group: "Global Thermal Energy Storage Market Size, Status and Forecast 2022"

• New from Persistence Market Research: "Advanced Phase Change Material (PCM) Market - Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020"

Alpha SmartTemp liner• The effectiveness of a PCM-infused prosthetics liner made by Ohio Willow Wood Co. will be put to the test in a two-year clinical trial. The liner is designed to absorb heat and reduce sweating where a prosthesis meets skin. The study, funded by a $140,000 Department of Defense grant, will be conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and Widener University.

• Registration is open for "2-8°C Solutions: Design variables and constraints," the next webinar in Sonoco ThermoSafe's temperature assurance packaging series. Frank Butch, director of engineering at Sonoco ThermoSafe, and Lisa Barbieri Moher, North American head of distribution packaging and graphics at Sanofi, will lead the one-hour class, to be held Nov. 14.

Sonoco ThermoSafe's development of the LD7 Quarter PMC pallet shipper won first place for Excellence in Collaboration at the Cold Chain GDP & Temperature Management Global Forum in Chicago last month. ThermoSafe's ChillTech reusable PCM system was runner-up in the Excellence in Technological Innovation category.

In a recent interview with Innovation in Textiles, CEO Dirk Van Hyning of PCM-maker Alexium International discussed U.S. efforts to curb the use of halogenated flame retardants.

Patent application: Polymeric prosthetic and orthotic devices with heat and hardness control

Ben Welter - Monday, August 21, 2017

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."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20170231788.pdf

Research roundup: Erythritol interface; nanofluids for cold storage; solar pond; nanoparticles-enhanced PCM; more

Ben Welter - Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Study on phase change interface for erythritol with nano-copper in spherical container during heat transport [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Nanofluids: An innovative phase change material for cold storage systems? [International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer]

Experimental studies on the effect of using phase change material in salinity-gradient solar pond [Solar Energy]

Melting of nanoparticles-enhanced phase change material (NEPCM) in vertical semicircle enclosure: numerical study [Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology]

Simulating the Impact of Phase Change Material Embedded Building Envelopes on the Inter-Building Effect in Non-tropical Cities  [Procedia Engineering]

SmartTemp Prosthetic Liner Significantly Reduces Residual Limb Temperature and Perspiration [Journal of Prosthetics & Orthotics]

Feasibility Study of Heat Driven Cooling Based Thermal Energy Storage System [International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Applications] [pdf]

Patent application: Prosthesis having shape memory effect for treating vascular trauma

Ben Welter - Friday, September 04, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150245900 (inventor Elizabeth A. Eaton, Bloomington, Ind.):

"A prosthesis delivery system may include a prosthesis that includes a first end portion being radially movable between a compressed configuration and an expanded configuration. The first end portion may comprise a shape memory material having a transition temperature less than a body temperature such that the first end portion has an expanded configuration at a temperature above the transition temperature and a compressed configuration at a temperature below the transition temperature. The prosthesis may also include a second end portion being radially movable between a compressed configuration and an expanded configuration and a central portion between the first end portion and the second end portion."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150245900.pdf

High-tech prosthetic leg a perfect fit for active amputee

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 03, 2015

An inspiring story from Oandp.com, a website that covers the prosthetics and orthotics community:

Kevin JohnsonThirty-six years ago, Kevin Johnson lost his right leg below the knee in a combine accident on his family's farm in Ohio. As a teen, he avoided "painful" prosthetics and used crutches to get around. But he knew that was not a good long-term solution. He eventually found a prosthetic leg that worked well enough to support an active life. Johnson's work involves operating bulldozers and piloting helicopters, and he also races motorcycles and ropes cattle. When the prosthetic broke, as it did often, he used a welding torch and duct tape to fix it.

By the end of 2007, the prosthetic leg was broken beyond repair. Johnson got in touch with WillowWood, a prosthetics company in Ohio that was looking for amputees to test technology being developed for military veterans: a prosthetic system that features vacuum pressure, intelligent controls and phase change material. He was the perfect test patient, offering developers valuable feedback and pushing the leg to its limits.

The result: A high-performance prosthetic leg that fits better and is far more comfortable than its predecessors, thanks to the PCM-infused liner that absorbs heat and reduces perspiration and skin irritation.

http://www.oandp.com/articles/2015-02_10.asp