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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: Thermal barrier for a battery

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

Hutchinson patent drawing

U.S. patent application 20190131675 (applicant Hutchinson SA, Paris, France):

"A thermal barrier to maintain the temperature of a battery. The barrier comprises elements with respectively cold and hot PCM materials, and elements, thermal isolators, arranged at least in case of some between two of the PCM material elements. ... With regard to the hot and cold PCM elements respectively, for two types of batteries for example, operating favourably at between 25° C. and 35° C. and between 45° C. and 55° C. (all to within 15%), it will in particular be possible to use encapsulated PCMs (typically microencapsulated) in a porous, open-pore matrix, preferably of the elastomer type, such as based on NBR and HNBR silicone."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190131675.pdf

Patent application: Eco-friendly ice pack to be easily separated and discharged

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190128585 (inventors Jung Kyun Na and Seok Choi, Hwaseong-si, South Korea):

"Disclosed herein is an eco-friendly ice pack, which includes a water repellent material that maintains the shape of the ice pack and does not absorb a refrigerant, so that it can be easily separately discharged after use of the ice pack. In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of an eco-friendly ice pack including a refrigerant including a phase change material changing phase according to temperature, an outer case including the refrigerant and being formed by sealing in order to prevent the refrigerant from being discharged to the outside, and a water repellent supporter being disposed in the outer case, holding the shape of the ice pack to prevent the shape of the ice pack from being changed according to the shape of the refrigerant, and having water repellency to the refrigerant to avoid mixing with the refrigerant."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190128585.pdf

Patent application: PCM composites and methods of manufacture thereof

Ben Welter - Friday, May 03, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190127620 (applicant Rogers Corp., Chandler, Ariz.):

"A composite includes a polymer; and a phase-change composition including an unencapsulated first phase-change material, and an encapsulated second phase-change material. ... A method of manufacturing the composite or the article includes combining the polymer or a prepolymer composition optionally including a solvent, the unencapsulated first phase-change material, the encapsulated second phase-change material, and optionally an additive to form a mixture; forming an article from the mixture; and optionally removing the solvent to manufacture the composite."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190127620.pdf

Patent application: Heat exchanger for an exhaust tuning system

Ben Welter - Monday, April 29, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190120103 (applicant Ford Global Technologies, Dearborn, Mich.):

"Methods and systems are provided for a heat exchanger phase change material installed as a component of a variable exhaust tuning system. In one example, a method may include absorbing excess heat energy from exhaust gases during and after an engine-on event within a heat exchanger material, releasing heat energy stored in the heat exchanger material during and after an engine-off event, and heating an adjustable exhaust valve with the heat energy stored in the heat exchanger material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190120103.pdf

Patent application: Sodium acetate trihydrate formulations

Ben Welter - Friday, April 26, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190119543 (applicant British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd., London):

"An inhalation device comprising: a heatable material; and a formulation comprising: sodium acetate trihydrate (SAT), a solvent, and at least one of potassium acetate and a kinetic inhibitor, wherein the kinetic inhibitor is selected from the group consisting of: sodium carboxymethyl cellulose; gelatine; ethyl cellulose; polyethylene glycol; xanthan gum; glycerol; urea; polysorbate 20; polysorbate 80; polyacrylic acid; sodium pyrophosphate; polyacrylamide; pullulan; poly(vinyl alcohol); and poly(vinyl acetate). wherein the formulation is configured to provide a heat source that heats the heatable material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190119543.pdf

Patent application: Temperature-controlling vest for relieving menopause symptoms

Ben Welter - Friday, April 26, 2019

Imanano cooling vest patent drawingU.S. patent application 20190117447 (applicant Imanano Inc., Lewes, Del.):

"The field of the invention relates generally to devices and methods for controlling the temperature of a human or non-human body. More specifically, the field of the invention may relate to wearable devices, which may be worn by a subject, which human or non-human, wherein the wearable device is in thermal communication with a portion of the subject's body containing brown adipose tissue and wherein the wearable device comprises a means for providing a constant or near constant temperature to the subject's body and therefore controls the temperature of the subject's body, by using a phase change material. The phase material transitions state at a predetermined temperature which may be higher or lower than the subject's exterior body temperature. The device and method are usable to control temperature-related effects of menopause, post menopause and drug induced thermoregulatory symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and sleep disturbance."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190117447.pdf

Patent application: Building panel system

Ben Welter - Friday, April 19, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190112809 (applicant Armstrong World Industries Inc., Lancaster, Penn.):

"A building panel system is provided. The building panel system include a panel structure having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface; a mounting system attached to the panel structure; at least one container detachably coupled to the mounting system at one of a plurality of selectable coupling positions so as to be in conductive thermal cooperation with the first surface of the panel structure; and a phase change material contained within the at least one container."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190112809.pdf

Patent application: Thermal energy storage systems utilizing phase change material

Ben Welter - Friday, April 19, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190101337 (applicant SABIC Global Technologies B.V., Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands):

"A thermal energy storage system utilizes a phase change material with an encapsulating material surrounding the phase change material. The encapsulating material fully contains the phase change material to prevent passage of the phase change material out of the encapsulating material and/or prevent direct contact of the phase change material with external objects. The encapsulating material is a high density polyethylene (HDPE), which may be a non-crosslinked or crosslinked HDPE. In a method of forming a thermal energy storage system a phase change material is surrounded with the encapsulating material."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190101337.pdf

Patent application: Air-conditioning system

Ben Welter - Friday, April 19, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190113259 (applicant Ford Global Technologies LLC, Dearborn, Mich.):

"An air-conditioning system includes first and second PCM vessels, a heat recovery circuit, and a conduit and valve system. The heat recover circuit includes a third PCM vessel. The conduit and valve system operably couples i.) a first heat exchanger to the first PCM vessel and a radiator, ii.) a second heat exchanger to a core and the second PCM vessel, and iii.) the heat recovery circuit to the first heat exchanger."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190113259.pdf

Patent application: Reflective temperature modulating blanket

Ben Welter - Thursday, April 11, 2019

U.S. patent application 20190106878 (inventor Robert Joe Alderman, Poteet, Texas):

"A temperature modulating blanket utilizing a reflective surface to block radiation away from a phase change material [110] during daylight and in thermal conductivity with the material to allow heat conduction out of the material at night at a faster rate than it is absorbed during the daylight. The reflective surface is uniquely tailored to both serve a reflective function during daylight while also being sufficiently thermally conductive to facilitate the heat conduction as indicated during night. Additionally, the facilities may be uniquely configured to promote an attic circulation that further facilitates freezing and recharge of the phase change material of the blanket during night hours."

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20190106878.pdf