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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: PCM for thermal therapy and delivery of active ingredients

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180021169 (applicant ALPS South LLC, St. Petersburg, Fla.):

"A soft thermoformable elastomer with a phase change material exhibiting high latent heat of fusion. The compound provides elasticity, softness, formability, and heat over an extended duration and to facilitate prolonged skin contact at elevated temperatures. Used in combination with active ingredients the increased temperature and formability provides enhanced transdermal delivery through the skin. Thermoplastic elastomers may be manufactured by mixing together plasticizing oil, a triblock copolymer, a paraffinic substance and one or more additives, e.g., an antioxidant, an antimicrobial agent, and/or other additives to form a mixture which melted then cooled into the thermoplastic elastomer. During cooling, the thermoplastic elastomer may be molded or otherwise formed into any number of articles including, but not limited to, prosthetic liners, prosthetic sleeves, external breast prostheses, breast enhancement bladders, masks, wound dressing sheets, wound dressing pads, socks, gloves, malleolus pads, metatarsal pads, shoe insoles, urinary catheters, vascular catheters, and balloons for medical catheters both vascular as well as urinary."

Patent application: Mat with thermostatic layer between two layers of foam

Ben Welter - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180020842 (applicant SEDA Chemical Products Ltd., New Taipei City, Taiwan):

"A mat with a thermostatic layer between two layers of foam to reduce heat accumulation and the manufacturing process thereof, which includes a supporting foam layer, an air permeable foam layer, and the thermostatic layer; wherein the thermostatic layer lies on the top side of the supporting foam layer and includes phase change material (PCM) microcapsules and a bonding material; the air permeable foam layer has larger pores than the supporting foam layer, and has its bottom side attached to the thermostatic layer, and is thus bonded to the supporting foam layer via the bonding material. When a user lies on the air permeable foam layer, the user's body skin is not directly pressed against the PCM microcapsules, thereby allowing the PCM microcapsules to communicate with the ambient air through the pores in the air permeable foam layer and to dissipate heat rapidly for keeping the mat cool."

Patent application: Thermally insulated container assembly

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Laminar Medica patent drawingU.S. patent application 20180017311 (applicant Laminar Medica Ltd., Tring, United Kingdom):

"The present invention provides a thermally insulated container comprising an expanded foam layer, a further layer, internal of the expanded foam layer, formed of a plurality of cool packs or insulation panels, and a locking lid. The cool packs consist of a combination of cool packs with stepped edges and individual side wall cool packs side wall cool packs formed with a living hinge, wherein the cool packs consist of a protruding fill point on one edge and blanking protrusions on the remaining three edges, and the cool packs comprise recesses on the top and bottom edges to accommodate either the fill point or the blanking protrusion of each adjacent cool pack."

Patent application: Cellulose capsules

Ben Welter - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

U.S. patent application 20180019036 (applicant Technion Research & Development Foundation Ltd., Haifa, Israel):

"A method for making an oil-in-water dispersion or water-in-oil dispersion is disclosed. The method comprises the step of mixing a hydrophilic medium, a hydrophobic composition and non-derivatized cellulose solution in an ionic liquid. ... The novel, highly stable nano/micro-scale slurries, based on cellulose encapsulated PCMs, have a relatively low viscosity at high concentrations, which increases their pumping efficiency and permits to increase the slurry concentration up to 45 wt. %, that allows to enlarge the efficiency of thermal energy transfer systems."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."