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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: Method for producing a latent heat accumulator

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 09, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190071594 (applicants Schunk Carbon Technology GmbH, Bad Goisem, Austria; and Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik GmbH, Heuchelheim, Germany):

"A method for producing a latent heat accumulator, wherein a phase change material is introduced into a molded body produced by expanding a graphitic starting material, comprising the steps of: introducing the graphitic starting material into a mold, closing the mold, expanding the graphitic starting material by introducing heat, wherein the mold is heated before or after the graphitic starting material is introduced, or the energy required for expansion is introduced directly into the graphitic starting material, and after the molded body has been formed, introducing the phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190071594

Patent application: PCM reservoir equipped with filling tube for a motor vehicle heat exchanger

Ben Welter - Friday, March 08, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190072304 (applicant Valeo Systemes Thermiques, Le Mesnil St. Denis, France):

"The invention relates to a phase-change material reservoir for a heat exchanger of an air-conditioning installation of a vehicle, the reservoir being arranged between two reservoir plates and having filling means, characterized in that the filling means include at least one tube delimiting a filling channel arranged outside the reservoir against a first plate of the reservoir."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190072304.pdf

Patent application: System for providing a single serving of a frozen confection

Ben Welter - Saturday, March 02, 2019

Sigma patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190053514 (applicant Sigma Phase Corp., Concord, Mass.):

"A system for providing a single serving of a frozen confection, wherein the system comprises a pod [910, right] comprising at least one ingredient for providing a single serving of a frozen confection; the system cools the pod; the system introduces water into the pod; the system simultaneously stirs the contents of the pod while scraping at least one wall of the pod to prevent a build-up of the frozen confection on the at least one wall of the pod; and the system ejects the frozen confection out of the pod. ... In one preferred form of the invention, at least one container holding a eutectic solution [915] is disposed adjacent to the pod seat of nest. This eutectic solution is used to store “cold” at the nest. More particularly, coolant unit is used to cool the eutectic solution to the point of freezing, and then the eutectic solution absorbs heat from pod 910, whereby to produce the frozen confection."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053514.pdf

Patent application: Three-dimensional polymeric fiber matrix layer for bedding products

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190053632 (applicant Serta Simmons Bedding LLC, Atlanta, Georgia)

"A three dimensional polymeric fiber matrix layer including a phase change material coated thereon for use in a bedding product such as a mattress is disclosed. The phase change material is selected to provide improved cooling properties, which along with the free volume provided by the three dimensional polymeric fiber matrix markedly improves temperature management when used in a bedding product."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053632.pdf

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Patent application: Self-heating personal covering

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190059619 (applicant Aspen Surgical Products Inc., Caledonia, Mich.):

"Disclosed is a self-heating personal covering that includes a first layer and a second layer that is parallel to and opposite of the first layer, and at least a portion of the second layer is fastened to at least a portion of the first layer. The self-heating personal covering also includes at least one heat source positioned between the first layer and the second layer. The at least one heat source is held in a prescribed position by the first layer and the second layer, and includes a material that undergoes an exothermic reaction upon exposure to oxygen. ... [At] least one heat distributing structure is a layer of phase change material. The layer of phase change material may be positioned between the at least one heat source and the second layer."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190059619.pdf

Patent application: Cushioning arrangement for temperature control of a sole structure

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190062614 (applicant Nike Inc., Beaverton, Ore.):

"A sole structure for an article of footwear includes a chamber having a first barrier element, a second barrier element, and a tensile member. The tensile member is disposed within an interior void defined by the first barrier element and the second barrier element. The sole structure further includes a phase change material [70, above] disposed within the interior void and operable between a first state in a first temperature range and a second state in a second temperature range. The first temperature range is from 30° C. to 35° C. and the second temperature range is from 35° C. to 42° C. The sole structure further includes an insulating member disposed between the chamber and a ground contacting surface."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190062614.pdf

Patent application: Refrigeration device uses phase change material for cooling air

Ben Welter - Friday, March 01, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190063765 (inventor Ray Arjomand, Sparks, Nev.)

"A refrigeration device has a condenser coil that has periodic access to outside air. A time-activated thermostat controls the operation of an evaporator coil that is in thermal contact with a reservoir containing phase change material. A thermally conductive pipe containing antifreeze fluid is connected to a pump that circulates the antifreeze fluid inside the pipe. A first portion of the pipe is inside the reservoir in thermal contact with the phase change material and a second portion of the pipe is near an air fan or connected to a fan coil unit to exchange heat through the pipe between the reservoir and the air blown by the fan or the fan coil unit. The evaporator coil produces a phase change in the phase-changing material in the reservoir at night when outdoor temperature is colder than during day and the phase-change material is used during day to cool air blown by the air fan or the fan coil unit."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190063765.pdf

Patent application: Exhaust system with actuated flow bypass

Ben Welter - Friday, February 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190053330 (Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co., St. Lous, Mo.):

"An exhaust system is provided that includes an exhaust aftertreatment unit, first and second exhaust pathway in communication with and upstream of the exhaust aftertreatment unit, a thermally activated flow control device operable in a first and second mode, and a thermal storage device. ... The thermal storage device or thermal flywheel may also include a phase change material, an in one form a phase change material that changes phase at a temperature between 180° C. and 45° C."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190053330.pdf

Patent application: Battery pack containing phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 14, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190051955 (applicant Consortium de Recherche BRP / Universite de Sherbrooke, Canada):

"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."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190051955.pdf

Patent application: Mattress for improved sleep

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 07, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190038040 (applicant Technogel Italia S.r.l., Pozzoleone, Italy):

"Mattresses and mattress toppers having an upper layer including a high heat capacity material are disclosed. The mattress is configured to reduce a core body temperature of the body supported thereon, and thus induce improved sleep, measurable as an increase in the time spent in slow wave sleep relative to standard mattresses having lower heat capacities. The high heat capacity of the mattress may be attributable to the geometry and nature of the support material and optional additives, including polymer gels and phase change materials. Methods for improving sleep quality and uses of the high heat capacity mattresses to improve sleep quality are also disclosed."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190038040.pdf