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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 monthly PCM newsletter. Or join the discussion on LinkedIn.




Coffee Joulies creator talks about production challenges

Ben Welter - Monday, March 09, 2015

Coffee JouliesIn an interview with online tech magazine SolidSmack, Dave Petrillo discusses some of the hurdles he and partner Dave Jackson faced in the creation of Coffee Joulies, a product that uses phase change material to regulate the temperature of hot beverages.

"The phase change material was actually not that difficult to find," Petrillo said. "One of the hardest parts to making this project was getting the manufacturing of the rest of the stainless steel shell made in the USA. Forming and joining and sealing these beans shut so that they last a long time is definitely a difficult task. Much harder than we anticipated."

New BASF app calculates impact of PCM use in buildings

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PCM app screen shotBASF has just launched an Android app to help architects, engineers and investors assess the impact of phase change materials on a building's cooling load. The free app, which also includes tips for PCM users and links to industry research, calculates potential energy savings based on building materials that incorporate BASF's Micronal phase change material. According to the app description in Google's Play Store:

"Just enter the cooling load of a building conventionally calculated according to VDI 2078. After entering some additional data on the building situation and the desired PCM building material, you are provided with a figure which is a reduction factor for this cooling load, optimized for the application in question. This reduction factor is calculated on the basis of forecast dynamic simulations in standard rooms and applies the user's data to a suitable reference building, extrapolating it to the actual construction project in question.

"The app also takes economic efficiency into account and shows the user the break-even point when the costs required for buying and installing the PCM construction material have been covered by savings in facility investments and energy."

Protective suit for offshore work features a PCM liner to keep the wearer comfortable

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Viking PS5040 suitGas and oil personnel don protective suits for helicopter transfer to and from offshore platforms. Viking Life-Saving Equipment's new PS5040 suit is designed for harsh weather and icy waters. The snug-fitting suit features a gas-inflated buoyancy system, integrated spray hood, easy-to-use plastic zippers and a thermal liner that contains phase change materials that absorb the excess body heat and returns it when needed.

“When it comes to passenger suits for helicopter transfer, there are a number of commonly used materials and features that are well-suited to the task,” said Jens Peter Kruse, the Danish company's vice president for personal protective equipment. “We’ve taken this into account with our new suit, and we’ve made a tremendous number of comfort and safety improvements, too.”

HSM introduces CoolACTIVE foam for bedding industry

Ben Welter - Monday, January 19, 2015

Furniture maker HSM of Hickory, N.C., has announced the introduction of CoolACTIVE foams for the bedding industry. The PCM-laden foam is designed to diffuse body heat. The product comes in three forms: a viscoelastic memory foam that offers 25 percent heat transference, a gel that offers 35 percent heat transference and a foam that incorporates graphite particles and offers 40 percent heat transference.

Outlast technology cools Puma's new golf shoe

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 15, 2015

Puma's TitanTour golf shoePuma's new TitanTour golf shoe features temperature-regulating phase change material in its lining. The Outlast technology is designed to keep the wearer comfortable by absorbing, storing and releasing heat as conditions demand.
The shoe, set for release Feb. 1, retails for $190. Rickie Fowler, Jonas Blixt, Will MacKenzie and Jesper Parnevik are among the pro golfers set to wear it.

Gibson wireless headphones feature Outlast PCM

Ben Welter - Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Gibson Trainer headphonesGuitar-maker Gibson has entered the headphone market with a bluetooth model designed with help from Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt. The Trainer, geared toward athletes, employs Outlast phase change material to keep the ear pads at a comfortable temperature. The weather- and sweat-resistant headphones are expected to be available in April with a retail price of $239.

A chilling effect on hot flashes

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 09, 2014

CoolCami camisoleIs there any temperature-regulation problem that phase change material can't solve? CoolCami, a form-fitting camisole, is designed to reduce the discomfort of hot flashes. A cooling liner made from PCMs absorbs the heat generated by a woman's body when a hot flash kicks in. 

The CoolCami company also sells CoolMeMat, designed to provide relief for people who suffer from night sweats. The liners for both products recharge in about an hour at room temperature and provide relief for up to four hours. 

Pluss Polymers' MiraCradle neonate cooler wins innovation award

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 04, 2014

Pluss Polymers of India has won a CII Industrial Innovation Award for its neonate cooler. The MiraCradle, the New Delhi company's first health-care product, is a low-cost passive cooling device for treating newborns suffering from birth asphyxia. It was developed in collaboration with Christian Medical College of Vellore, India.

Birth asphyxia – lack of sufficient oxygen at birth – kills hundreds of thousands of newborns in the developing world each year. Research shows that cooling the body temperature of a newborn suffering from birth asphyxia can help protect the brain from damage. 

The device uses Pluss Polymers' "form-stable" phase change materials, savE FS-21 and FS-29. The manufacturer says the PCMs can be charged in a typical refrigerator.

Sleepyhead's 'best bed ever' uses PCM-infused memory foam

Ben Welter - Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ekene IbekweFormer University of Maryland star Ekene Ibekwe is playing pro basketball in New Zealand, where he is touting Sleepyhead's Sanctuary bed. Phase change material is used to "absorb and distribute excess heat from around the body and dissipate it down through the mattress." "I’ve definitely noticed a difference since switching to Sanctuary,” says Ibekwe, a 6-9 forward who has also played professionally in Israel, France, Turkey, Iran, Spain, Germany and Puerto Rico. "I was after a firmer bed and now my aches and pains have disappeared!”