TLX Cargo launches cargo covers with latest PCM advancement
April 18, 2018: In order to solve the complexities of temperature excursions on the tarmac when exposed to heat, TLX Cargo, part of TLX Insulation, has introduced world’s first cargo cover/thermal blanket that incorporates Phase Change Material (PCM) into its structure. This was invented by British team of scientists at the company.
The integration of PCM is a big technical advancement in both cargo cover technology and PCM encapsulation.
Thomas Hunt, who launched the cargo cover/thermal blanket, said, “TLX PCM is designed to remove the problem of the temperature spike seen on most pallet data loggers in air cargo when the pallet is off-loaded on to the tarmac at hot locations. It’s a game-changer in the temperature controlled logistics sector solving problems such as: excursions on 15-25 o C routes, power outages on 2-8 o C routes, upgrading and reducing the size of parcel shippers along with controlling temperatures of ULDs for perishables.”
TLX PCM cargo covers combine an outer surface that reflects 97 percent of thermal radiation over the measured spectral range with TLX PCM Fibre-Flex technology within the structure of the cover, that remains flexible even when frozen and can be moulded around corners, whilst being thin light and easy to handle.
In its liquid state, the PCM fibre will hold the PCM in any orientation, which means TLX Fibre-Flex can be used for walls as well as the top of cargo covers.
Jim Smith, head of Insulation Technology at TLX, said, “This has been a challenging project for us. It was an entirely new area of research aimed at solving the problem of the temperature spike in cool chain transport. We’re very happy with the result. Our 15-25 o C blankets freeze at around 18 o C (i.e. in the aircraft hold) and then, once out in the sun on the tarmac, they inhibit the heat build-up within the pallet load by absorbing the heat from the sun. The benefit of this system is that this freezing and melting process can be repeated continuously through the journey as the pallet is loaded and off-loaded on to the tarmac.”
Phase change materials are able to absorb energy as they change from a solid to a liquid, so they can act as heat buffers. How long they absorb heat for is dependent on the ambient temperature.
Hunt concluded: “The remarkable thing about this technology is that PCM’s don’t need to be expensive. This opens up a huge range of opportunities for us in providing the kind of problem/solution service we thrive on.”