Solid-Solid PU PCM

Patent Title: PHASE-CHANGE MATERIAL FOR STORING THERMAL ENERGY, MANUFACTURING METHOD AND USES OF SUCH A MATERIAL

 Number/Link:  WO2017/198933 (French)

Applicant/Assignee:  UNIV CERGY-PONTOIS

Publication date: 23 november 2017

Gist”: A crosslinked PEG-HMDI elastomer can be used as phase change material.

Why it is interesting: Phase change materials, used to dampen temperature cycles in buildings, are well known. Most organic phase change materials (e.g. paraffines) show solid-liquid phase transitions and therefore need to be macro- or micro-encapsulated. This invention is about polyurethane PCMs with a solid to solid phase transition, and therefore need not be encapsulated. The PU PCM is prepared by reacting a polyethylene glycol with a diisocyanate like HMDI together with a crosslinker like glycerol. The solid elastomer is then ground into powder which can be used in construction materials like plaster or cement. The transition temperature and the latent heat of the PCM is controlled through the mole weight of the PEG (e.g. 1000 to 2000 Da) and the degree of crosslinking.
Solid-solid PU PCMs are not new, see WO2011/089061 (Huntsman), which (in my opinion) presents a more elegant and flexible solution to the problem.

Phase_Change_Materials

Temperature damping by PCM (Wikimedia Commons)

 

PCM Containing PU Gels

Title: Temperature Regulating Polyurethane Gels

Number/Link: US2017/0210961

Applicant/Assignee: Technogel

Publication Date: 27 july 2017

“Gist”: Fatty acid ester PCMs are incorporated into Technogel-type gels without encapsulation

Why it is interesting: Polyurethane gels have been discussed before in this blog. The current invention is about “Technogel-type”  gels, made at low NCO-index and high functionality, that contain phase change materials (PCMs). The PCMs are esters of fatty acids that can be blended in molten state with the low EO polyol to form a clear solution, which is then reacted with isocyanate to form the gel. Despite not being encapsulated or forming a separate phase, the PCMs can reversibly melt and crsytallize while in the fluid phase of the gel. In the examples blends of lauryl laurate (C12-C12) and myristyl myristate (C14-C14) are used as PCM such that the phase change temperature is about 22-38°C.  The gels are said to be useful for ‘close to body’ comfort applications especially for use in matresses to improve sleeping comfort.

Lauryl laurate