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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: One-piece insulating container

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190077576 (inventors Drayton G. Miller, Dauphin Island, Ala., and William J. Gunn, Springfield, Ill.):

"A one-piece cushioning and insulating container and insulation template for forming the container are provided. The insulation template includes a case blank and an insulating member secured thereto. The template may be formed into a three-dimensional container that provides cushioning and insulating items contained inside the container by simultaneously folding the case blank and insulating member. The template is designed to provide a completely enclosed space that is cushioned and insulated on all sides. The dimensions of the template may be adjusted to create containers of varying dimensions. The container may be constructed of various materials with a layer of soft, flexible material secured therein. The template may have heating or cooling elements, including phase change materials, incorporated into insulating member."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190077576.pdf

Patent application: Personal cooling system

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

Zakai patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190076293 (inventor Hillel Zakai, Teaneck, N.J.):

"A personal cooling system for maintaining an individual at a preferred predetermined temperature in the outdoor environment of a venue, for an extended period of time, according to one embodiment includes a first cooling element comprising a phase change material (PCM) and at least one cooling station for providing any one of an additional one or more frozen cooling elements, each having a PCM, and at least one freezing medium for freezing any of said cooling elements. The cooling station is installed at the venue."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190076293.pdf

Patent application: Gas turbine engine having a heat absorption device

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190078516 (applicant General Electric Co., Schenectady, N.Y.):

"A gas turbine engine having a heat absorption device and an associated method are disclosed. The gas turbine engine includes a compressor, a combustor, a turbine, a bleed fluid cavity, and the heat absorption device. The combustor is coupled to the compressor. The turbine is coupled to the compressor and the combustor. The bleed fluid cavity is formed at a first predefined location in the compressor. The heat absorption device is disposed in the bleed fluid cavity and includes a casing, a flow path, and a phase change material. The casing includes an inlet and an outlet. The flow path is within the casing, extends between the inlet and the outlet, and directs an input bleed fluid separated from a fluid stream discharged from the compressor. The phase change material is filled in the casing, separated from the flow path."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190078516.pdf

Patent application: Dimensionally stable phase change material

Ben Welter - Friday, March 15, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190078006 (applicant Microtek Laboratories Inc., Dayton, Ohio):

"Methods for producing a dimensionally stable phase change material (PCM), and dimensionally stable PCMs are disclosed. The methods include providing a porous base material, mixing a phase change material having a polar functional group with a substance that increases the polar attraction of the phase change material for the porous base material to form a mixture thereof; and, thereafter, mixing the mixture with the porous base material until a selected saturation of phase change material in the porous base material is reached. The methods may include filtering the porous base material after the selected saturation is reached to form a cake of dimensionally stable PCM and, thereafter, reducing the size of the dimensionally stable PCM to an average mean particle size of about 10 to about 50 μm, or more preferably 20 to 30 μm."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190078006.pdf

Patent application: Face mask having improved comfort through cooling of microclimate

Ben Welter - Monday, March 11, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190069611 (applicant Avent Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia):

Avant mask patent drawing"A multi-layered face mask coated with discontinuous patterns of phase change material are incorporated into the face mask construction to provide for cooling of the microclimate in the dead space of the face mask. Optimized cooling is achieved by strategic placement of layers coated with a phase change material within the mask construction and the amount and density of the phase change material in contact with the temperature sensitive areas of the face, as well as areas experiencing the maximum amount of flux from exhaled breath. The shape of the mask can also be adjusted to increase skin contact with the phase change material and decrease dead space volume, which reduces the volume of warm exhaled air and can provide sufficient cooling with less phase change material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190069611.pdf

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