Phase change materials
We create high-quality, bio-based phase change materials (PCMs) that are a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to paraffinic and salt hydrate based PCMs.
Phase change materials are substances that absorb and release heat energy when they change phase (known as latent heat). When a material melts, it changes from a solid phase to a liquid phase. During the phase transition, many materials are able to absorb a significant amount of heat energy. The opposite is true when the material freezes and solidifies: the material will give out the heat that it absorbed when it melted. Different materials will melt and solidify at different temperatures and are able to absorb different amount of heat energy.
Phase change materials are useful because they melt and solidify at specific, defined temperatures, making them suitable to control the temperature in range of diverse applications. Materials that melt to absorb heat are much more efficient at absorbing heat energy compared to sensible heat energy materials. This means that it takes a much smaller amount of a material to store heat energy phase change material than using a material that does not change phase.
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Understanding the difference between sensible heat and latent heat
Sensible heat capacity
When matter is heated and no change of phase occurs, its internal temperature increases. An example of this is a glass of water that heats up in the sun. As the sun shines onto the glass, the water increases in energy and the water molecules get more energetic. The water increases in temperature. This is known as sensible heat.
Sensible heat capacity is the ability of a material to absorb heat energy as it increases in temperature (warms up).
Latent heat capacity
If you measured the temperature of the ice as it melts, you will find that until all the ice has melted, it will remain at 0°C. This is because when a PCM such as ice changes phase, the temperature will remain constant until all the material has melted. This is known as latent heat.
Comparing sensible heat and latent heat of water/ice
It takes a large amount of energy to melt ice into water.
|Specific heat of ice (sensible heat)||2.1 kJ/ kg/ ºC||Heat capacity of ice. This is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of ice by 1ºC|
|Latent heat of melting ice||334 kJ/ kg||Energy needed to melt 1kg of ice into water, at 0ºC|
|Specific heat of water (sensible heat)||4.1/ kJ/ kg/ ºC||Heat capacity of water. This is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1ºC|
- The energy needed to melt 1kg of ice at 0ºC could heat 1kg of liquid water from 0ºC to 81.5ºC! (334kJ/ 4.1kJ = 81.5ºC).
- The inverse is also true: It takes 334kJ of energy to freeze 1kg of water at its freezing temperature (0ºC) into ice.
- This demonstrates the powerful effect of using a phase change material to store heat energy latently rather than using sensible heat capacity.
The difference between sensible heat and latent heat
To begin with, when the ice is in its frozen state, it must be heated up sensibly before it will get to its phase transition temperature. Once the ice has reached its melting temperature, it stops increasing in temperature as it melts.
Once all the ice has melted, it starts to increase in temperature again. The inverse happens when water is frozen back into ice.
Why are phase change materials useful?
Capturing and storing energy is difficult. Phase change materials (PCMs) are ideal for use in any application where a storage and release of thermal energy is desired. PCMs act like a battery for heat energy because they absorb heat energy as they melt and can be “recharged” by cooling them until they crystallise and give the stored energy back the environment. They can store and release heat energy thousands of times without change in thermal properties.
Water has a high latent heat capacity; why can’t I just use water?
Water does have a high latent heat capacity, but it melts and freezes at 0ºC. This means that for many applications, the melting temperature is too low or too high.
Our bio-based phase change materials at a wide range of melting temperatures with high latent heat capacities. This means you can choose the best melting temperature for your application.
What makes our phase change materials different?
High performance products: Our PCMs have high latent heat capacities, making them efficient in use.
Green chemistry: Our materials are up to 100% USDA Certified bio-based & our sites have RSPO sustainable palm oil certification.
Low flammability: Our PCMs are not classified as flammable and have higher flash points than competing materials.
Good material compatibility: Our materials have good long-term compatibility with multiple material types.
Long-term stability: Our PCMs are stable & have consistent performance for a minimum of 7000 cycles for long term reliability and performance.
Minimal evaporation: Our PCMs have a low rate of loss due to evaporation even at elevated temperatures.
Phase Change Material 5
Phase change material 5 is our best selling phase change material for temperature controlled packaging solutions. Its unique thermal profile with sharp melting and crystallisation peaks protects goods...
Phase Change Material 6.5
Phase change material 6.5 is another one of our best selling phase change materials for temperature controlled packaging applications.
Phase Change Material 9.5
Phase change material 9.5 is a PCM on our range that is well used in temperature controlled packaging, where goods are shipped in isothermal containers which can keep the temperature of goods...
Phase Change Material 19
PCM 19 is a bio-based organic phase change material that is used in temperature controlled packaging to control the temperature of sensitive goods. It is 100% bio-based and certified USDA...
Phase Change Material 21
Phase change material 21 is a readily biodegradable phase change material used in temperature controlled packaging and thermal energy storage applications.
Phase Change Material 24W
Phase change material 24W is a unique phase change material in the Phase change material brand, whereby it exhibits a wide melting and crystallisation profile, providing an excellent solution in...
Phase Change Material 29
Phase change material 29 is ideal for use in textiles, HVAC and applications requiring above room temperature thermal management. Phase change material 29 has low flammability and is readily...
Phase Change Material 37
Phase change material 37 can be used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to reduce energy consumption through free cooling.
Phase Change Material 47
Phase change material 47 is a specalised PCM available for energy storage, electronics and automotive applications where increasing energy efficiency through heat recovery is required.
Phase Change Material 53
Phase change material 53 is a high temperature PCM, used in energy storage applications to manage heat effectively.
Phase Change Material 60
Phase change material 60 is used in battery thermal management and industrial heating systems to increase the thermal potential of heat management systems when capacity is limited.
Phase Change Material 74
Phase change material 74 has been used in district heating systems for thermal management of HVAC systems, increasing the efficiency and heat storage potential of the system.
Temperature controlled packagingPhase change materials
Ensure product quality with a combination of high latent heat capacity and sharp melting and freezing profiles for effective temperature regulation.Read more
Thermal energy storageSustainable phase change materials
Improve thermal management in buildings and industrial processes, increase efficiencies and reduce costs.Read more