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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: Anesthetic bandage with phase change material

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180015050 (inventor Ana R. Olivero, New Rochelle, N.Y.):

Bandage patent drawing"A bandage for delivering an anesthetic through a patient's skin at the site of a hypodermic injection prior to the administration of the hypodermic injection to alleviate pain due to the injection. The bandage has a first layer having a perimeter area adhesive, an anesthetic delivery layer disposed on the first layer inside the perimeter area and containing an anesthetic for delivery into the patient's skin, a first peel-off layer covering the anesthetic delivery layer for keeping the anesthetic delivery layer sterile until the peel-off layer is removed, the first layer being placed on the skin of the patient at the future site of the injection with the anesthetic delivery layer and adhesive being in contact with the skin of the patient thereby to adhere the bandage to the site and allow the anesthetic delivery layer to deliver the anesthetic into the skin. ... wherein the anesthetic delivery layer comprises a phase-change material that releases or stores energy to accelerate the delivery of the anesthetic into the patient's skin."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180015050.pdf

Patent application: Encapsulation of thermal storage medium

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180016482 (assignee University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.): 

"In one embodiment, a method for depositing metal on a polymer surface, the method includes coating the polymer surface with a binding metal to render the polymer surface solvophillic and/or hydrophilic and depositing a further metal on the binding metal-coated polymer surface."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180016482.pdf

Patent application: Portable apparatus using PCMs for a temperature-stabilized environment

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Portable apparatus patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180031295 (applicant Fruition LLC, Lexington, Mass.):

"A carrying case utilizes a layer of phase change materials and a thermal insulation layer in order to provide a temperature-stabilized environment for enclosed payloads during transport through an environment in which temperatures differ greatly from those to which they are normally exposed. In one aspect, the phase change materials and thermal insulation provide an extended period of temperature constancy, without the addition of either active thermal control or excessively bulky insulation."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180031295.pdf

Patent application: Thermal storage heat exchanger structures employing PCMs

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180031332 (applicant Raytheon Co., Waltham, Mass.):

"A heat exchanger includes at least one conduit configured to carry a working fluid. The heat exchanger also includes a plurality of chambers in proximity to the at least one conduit, each chamber configured to contain a phase change material (PCM) that expands upon freezing. The at least one conduit and the plurality of chambers are thermally coupled for transfer of thermal energy between the working fluid and the PCM in each chamber. One wall of each chamber is formed of a compliant layer configured to deform to increase a volume of the chamber as the PCM expands upon freezing."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180031332.pdf

Patent application: A shoe with improved thermal comfort

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180027921 (applicant Miriade S.p.A., Nola, Italy ):

Shoe patent drawing"A shoe or boot has improved thermal comfort and comprises: an upper having, at the rear counter and the front toe end, a layer of memory foam including phase change microcapsules; an inner lining and an insole impregnated with phase change microcapsules; and a reservoir, obtained in the sole and separated from the inside of the shoe by a perforated insole part, filled up with phase change microcapsules, wherein said phase change microcapsules have a solidification temperature comprised between 18° and 23° C. and a melting temperature comprised between 24° C. and 32° C."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180027921.pdf

Patent application: Thermal energy storage apparatus with PCM

Ben Welter - Friday, January 19, 2018

Neothermal patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180017337 (applicant NeoThermal Energy Storage Inc., Timberlea, Canada):

"A thermal energy storage apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus includes a base and fluid flow plates which cooperate with the base to define a cavity; a phase change material contained within the cavity; an extendable extension spring [40] at least partially contained within the phase change material [14]; and end plates which cooperate with the fluid flow plates to define fluid flow channels. Inlet and outlet ports allow for the ingress and egress of a heat exchange fluid into the fluid flow channels. In operation, the extension of the extendable extension spring induces solidification of at least a portion of the phase change material from a supercooled liquid state to a solid state, releasing thermal energy, allowing for the transfer of thermal energy across the fluid flow plates from the phase change material to the heat exchange fluid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180017337.pdf

Patent application: Capsules having surfactant tethered outer shells

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180009996 (applicant Microtek Laboratories Inc., Dayton, Ohio):

"Microcapsules are disclosed that have a core composition encapsulated within a polymer wall, and an inorganic shell connected to an exterior surface of the polymer wall by a surfactant. The inorganic shell has a cation attracted to the surfactant and an anion or anion equivalent chemically bonded to the cation to form the shell or has the metal portion of a metal-containing compound attracted to the surfactant to form the shell. The shell may comprise a Ca, Mg, or Ag metal compound. The shell may be a graphene oxide-metal compound."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180009996.pdf

Patent application: Encapsulated PCM and thermal battery

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180010862 (Valeo Systemes Thermiques, Le Mesnil Saint-Denis, France):

Valeo patent drawing"The present invention relates to an encapsulated phase-change material comprising a phase-change material (3) contained within a tube (5), said tube being made of plastic and that it has a sealing weld (9) at least at one of its ends. ... The presence of sealing welds allows good sealing and also reduces the risk of leakage of phase-change material notably when the latter is in the liquid phase."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180010862.pdf

Patent application: Heating water with refrigerant and PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 11, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180010822 (applicant Rheem Manufacturing Co., Atlanta, Ga.):

"An apparatus for heating water has a tank for storing water and an air conditioning system that defines a refrigerant flow path through which refrigerant flows. The refrigerant flow path passes through a heat exchanger so that refrigerant heat is contributed to the tank. The heat exchanger houses a phase change material. A controller controls operation of the water heating apparatus."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20180010822.pdf