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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 bonding a tail of web material using nonadhesive PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 31, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150375951 (applicant Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio): 

PG patent application drawing"A method for bonding the tail of a convolutely wound log to the body is provided. The method comprises the use of a nonadhesive phase-change material to mechanically bond the tail to the wound log. The nonadhesive phase-change material is heated to an amorphous state prior to its application. Once applied to the wound log, the nonadhesive phase-change material mechanical bonds with the tail and wound log and as heat is lost, changes to a non-amorphous state. The mechanical bond can be selectively reversed through the application of a strength degradation accelerator."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150375951.pdf

Patent application: Method of producing a device for storing thermal energy by solid/solid phase change material

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150369542 (applicant French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission):

"The invention relates to a method for producing a thermal energy storage device by means of at least one solid/solid phase change material, comprising a thermal energy storage chamber containing the at least one solid/solid phase change material and a heat exchanger of the heat-transfer fluid type for storing and extracting heat of said s/s PCM immersed in said chamber. The invention will find its application in the field of the storage of thermal energy and for example for the application of storing heat in an urban or industrial heat system."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150369542.pdf

Patent application: Cover assembly for temperature-sensitive cartons or articles

Ben Welter - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150367604 (applicant Grand Designs Inc., Sacramento, Calif.):

"Temperature protection assemblies designed to protect objects against undue temperature changes during shipping or storage, comprise a first layer configured to be placed proximal to the object and include phase change material, together with a second layer configured to be placed over the first layer and remote from the object, the second layer comprising a heat-reflecting material. The assemblies may be designed to protect a single carton or a pallet load thereof and, in such cases, the layers are in the form of open-bottom covers, which can be fitted over the carton or pallet load in closely-conforming relationship, with the first layer adjacent the carton or load, and the second layer  telescoped over the first layer. The covers may be interconnected to form a unitary assembly."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150367604.pdf

Patent application: Particulate microcapsule composition

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 17, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150361227 (applicant BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany):

"The present invention relates to particulate microcapsule compositions comprising microcapsules and an emulsion polymer, obtainable via spray drying of an aqueous microcapsule dispersion, where the microcapsules comprise a capsule core and a polymer as capsule wall and the polymer is composed of from 30 to 90% by wt. of one or more monomers (monomers I) from the group consisting of C1-C24-alkyl esters of acrylic and/or methacrylic acid, acrylic acid, methacrylic acid, and maleic acid."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150361227.pdf

Patent application: Mattress assembly with air bladders and PCM

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 17, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150359351 (applicant Tempur-Pedic Management LLC, Lexington, Ky.):

"A mattress assembly is provided that includes a body supporting portion, one or more air bladders positioned beneath the body supporting portion, and a frame portion. The frame portion includes a bottom surface and a sidewall that collectively define a well for receiving the one or more air bladders. ... As an even further refinement to the mattress assemblies of the present invention, in some embodiments, the aforementioned outer fabric covers, the comfort layers, the body supporting portions, or combinations thereof can further be coated or impregnated with a phase change material. 

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150359351.pdf

Patent application: Systems and methods for managing fuel vapor canister temperature

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 17, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150345435 (applicant Ford Global Technologies, Dearborn, Mich.):

Fuel vapor canister patent drawing"A system for an engine, comprising: a fuel vapor canister coupled to a fuel tank; a thermal jacket comprising a phase-change material, the thermal jacket spatially sheathing the fuel vapor canister; and an engine coolant passage positioned to transfer thermal energy between engine coolant and the phase-change material. In this way, the phase-change material may buffer the temperature of the fuel vapor canister by absorbing heat generated during hydrocarbon adsorption, and returning the heat to the vapor canister during hydrocarbon desorption. By coupling the phase-change material to engine coolant, the thermal capacity of the thermal jacket can be increased, as heated coolant can thus transfer thermal energy to the phase-change material to replace the thermal energy transferred to the canister during hydrocarbon desorption."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150345435.pdf

Patent application: Apparatus for cooling machine components using phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 17, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150343588 (applicant Step-Tec AG, Switzerland):

"The invention relates, on the one hand, to a machine element, for example a motor spindle or an electromechanical drive unit, with integrated, internal cooling system and, on the other hand, to a closed cooling circuit (24) with corresponding machine element. According to the invention, the cooling takes place with a special coolant. The coolant is a dispersion containing at least one Phase Change Material (PCM)."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150343588.pdf

Patent application: Method and apparatus for thermally actuating, unactuating downhole tools

Ben Welter - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150354304 (assignee Baker Hughes Inc., Houston):

"A method for actuating a downhole tool comprising disposing a phase change material having selected volumetric change upon phase change in contact with a tool or tool component. Raising a temperature of the material above the phase change point of the material. Directing a resultant force of the volumetric increase of the phase change material to the tool or tool component."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150354304.pdf

Patent application: Multilayer body support having phase change material

Ben Welter - Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sealy body support patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20150351557 (assignee Sealy Technology LLC, Trinity, N.C.):

"A body support includes a plurality of vertically stacked layers, a phase change material provided in each of the layers, and a cover enclosing the vertically stacked layers. ... The invention provides, in other aspects, a body support including a plurality of foam layers, at least one of which is a high-resilience foam, and a phase change material provided within the high-resilience foam layer."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150351557.pdf

Patent application: Systems and methods for managing fuel tank temperature

Ben Welter - Friday, December 04, 2015

U.S. patent application 20150345436 (applicant Ford Global Technologies, Dearborn, Mich):

"A system for an engine, comprising: a fuel tank; a thermal regulator comprising a phase-change material, the thermal regulator coupled to the fuel tank; and an engine coolant passage positioned to transfer thermal energy between engine coolant and the phase-change material. In this way, the temperature of the fuel tank may be managed passively by the phase-change material, and actively by engine coolant, thereby allowing heat energy to be shunted away from the fuel tank, cooling the fuel within the fuel tank, and reducing fuel vapor concentration, thus enabling a fuel vapor canister with a reduced size."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20150345436.pdf