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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.




Patent application: Compression device in combination with lower limb protection

Ben Welter - Monday, February 08, 2016

Limb compression device patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20160000630 (inventors William Purdy and Robert Purdy, New York):

"The present invention relates to a support for a body part including a compression device in combination with a lower leg protection system. The compression device can be integral with the outer support at a position received over the lower leg. One or more valves can extend from a compression bladder for attachment to a pneumatic device. Inflation of the compression bladder positioner adjacent the lower leg also displaces air in the outer support toward the foot which causes simultaneous massaging of the foot. The pneumatic device can be adjusted to provide either sequential or intermittent therapies. The outer support can include a rigid outer shell for providing support. ...

"The inner positioner or outer support can include a fluidized thermal regulating medium. In one embodiment, a phase change material can be used for adjusting the temperature of the system."

Patent application: Climate control system with phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, February 04, 2016

Climate control system patent drawingU.S. patent application 20160033207 (applicant BuroHappold Engineering, Bath, England):

"A climate control system includes a closed vessel containing a phase change material for absorbing heat from or emitting heat to an environment in which the system is intended to be arranged. The closed vessel also contains a solid heat conducting medium for facilitating heat transfer within the vessel. ...

"[A] characteristic of the phase change material is that it changes state at a peak melt temperature within the range of 18° C. to 26° C. ... wherein the phase change material is a mixture of paraffin and hydrated salt."

Patent application: Temperature change compositions and tissue products providing a cooling sensation

Ben Welter - Friday, January 29, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160022553 (applicant Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc., Neenah, Wis.):

Kimberly-Clark tissue patent"Wiping products, such as facial tissues, contain a temperature change composition that can provide a cooling sensation when contacted with the skin of a user. The temperature change composition is structured emulsion that may include a phase change material, a carrier, a surfactant, and a crystalline initiator. The phase change materials, in one embodiment, can have a relatively high heat of fusion. When undergoing a phase change, the temperature change composition absorbs heat and thereby provides a cooling feeling or cooling sensation to the skin of a user. ...

"The cooling sensation can, for instance, provide comfort and a soothing feeling to irritated skin. It is also found, that when used with a bath tissue, cooling can also evoke a sensation of wetness which can lead to a perception of improved cleaning. In one embodiment, the wiping product can be designed to provide a cooling sensation while transferring the composition to the skin but limiting or eliminating the contact of the phase change material from the skin of the user."

Patent application: Aerosol-generating device comprising solid-liquid phase change materials

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 28, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160021932 (applicant Philip Morris Products SA, Neuchatel, Switzerland):

"An aerosol-generating device is provided, for use in an aerosol-generating system and an aerosol-generating system including an aerosol-generating device and an aerosol-generating article. The aerosol-generating device includes a cavity configured to receive an aerosol-generating article; a first solid-liquid phase-change material positioned about a perimeter of the cavity; and heating means configured to heat the first solid-liquid phase-change material to a temperature above the melting point of the first solid-liquid phase-change material. The aerosol-generating device further includes a second solid-liquid phase-change material, wherein the melting point of the second solid-liquid phase-change material is higher than the melting point of the first solid-liquid phase-change material."

Patent application: Methods of forming a thermal storage unit

Ben Welter - Friday, January 22, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160016246 (applicant Orbital ATK Inc., Dulles, Va.):

"A two-phase heat transfer system includes an evaporator unit configured to receive heat from a source, a liquid line fluidly connected to the evaporator unit, a vapor line fluidly connected to the evaporator unit, and a condenser. The condensing unit includes a thermal capacitance device and a condenser integrated with the thermal capacitance device. Methods of forming a thermal storage unit include preparing a honeycomb core to receive a phase change material, metallurgically bonding end pieces to the core, to thermally link the end pieces to the core, and bonding the end pieces together to form a seal for holding the phase change material within the core."

Patent application: Device and method for portable thermal support

Ben Welter - Friday, January 15, 2016

GE infant transport patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20160008168 (General Electric Co., Schenectady, N.Y.):

"The present application discloses a transfer device for warming an infant patient during movement of the patient. The transfer device comprises a center section positionable beneath the patient, and the center section comprises a warming device. ... In [one] embodiment, the warming device is a phase change material. The phase change material, such as a wax, is one that once melted, slowly releases heat until the liquid has solidified, thus changing phase. To warm an infant patient, for example, a phase change material that changes from liquid to solid near 37° C., or within a few degrees in either direction, is desired."

Patent application: Patient interfaces with condensation reducing or compensation arrangements

Ben Welter - Friday, January 15, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160008566 (Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd., New Zealand):

"Mask assemblies, breathing circuits and related components include configurations for reducing condensation within the mask and/or inhibiting or preventing condensation from coming into contact with a user of the mask. The mask assemblies can incorporate heating elements (such as heating coils), insulating spaces or barrier layers. ... In some configurations, the patient interface further comprises a phase change material in the insulation space."

Patent application: Respirator with phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 07, 2016

Respirator patent application drawingU.S. patent application 20160001101 (Scott Technologies Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.):

"A respirator includes a frame, a filter layer, and a face seal member. The frame has an outer side and an inner side. The frame defines an opening therethrough. The filter layer is mounted to the outer side of the frame and covers the opening of the frame. The filter layer is configured to prohibit permeation of aerosol, gas, and/or vapor contaminants therethrough. The face seal member is mounted to the inner side of the frame. The face seal member includes a seal contact area configured to engage a facial surface of a wearer. The face seal member incorporates a phase change material therein. The phase change material is configured to provide localized cooling by absorbing heat emitted by the wearer."

Patent application: Battery thermal management for hybrid electric vehicles using a PCM cold plate

Ben Welter - Thursday, January 07, 2016

U.S. patent application 20160006088 (applicant Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Fla.):

"A thermal management system for an energy storage device that includes a liquid-cooled cold plate made of phase-change material changeable from a substantially solid form to a substantially liquid form upon absorbing heat generated by the energy storage device. The system may be useful as a thermal management solution for energy storage systems (ESS) in hybrid-electric vehicles (HEV)."

Patent application: Nanometer molten salt heat-transfer and heat-storage medium

Ben Welter - Monday, January 04, 2016

U.S. patent application 20150376487 (Shenzhen Enesoon Science & Technology Co. Ltd., China):

"The present invention provides a nano molten salt heat transfer and heat storage medium, the method of preparation and the application, which belongs to the technical sector of heat storage and transfer. The nano molten salt heat transfer and heat storage medium of the invention means that the metal oxide nano-particles and/or non-metal oxide nano particles are dispersed in the conventional molten salt system to form the nano molten salt heat transfer and heat storage medium by composition. The heat transfer and heat storage medium provided by the invention has the good thermal stability and high thermal conductivity, which is ideally suited for industrial energy storage, thermal storage and transfer system of solar thermal power generation. ...

"The invention patent application 200910074994.0 of China discloses a villiaumite-based high-temperature phase change thermal storage composite material, which is obtained by mixing nano-sized gold particle, silver particle and copper particle into the high-temperature phase change villiaumite according to certain ratio."