Scientists invent world’s first phase change material blanket

A team of British scientists have invented the world’s first Cargo Cover/Thermal blanket that incorporates Phase Change Material (PCM) into it`s structure.

Classic phase change materials

Phase change materials (PCMs) act as a heat buffer when they absorb energy to convert from solid to liquid. How long they absorb heat for is dependent on the ambient temperature.

However, traditional PCM’s do have their limits. They crystallize into a frozen block and are hard to apply in thin layers. Even when in a liquid state they must be contained in rigid containers  or gel packs. Also, gaps created by the joins in the packaging often create thermal weak points.

Fibre flex technology

TLX PCM cargo covers combine new Fibre-Flex technology with an outer surface that reflects 97% of thermal radiation over the measured spectral range. The TLX PCM Fibre-Flex technology within the structure of the cover remains flexible even when frozen and can be moulded around corners, whilst being thin and light.

In its liquid state the 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 when transporting pharmaceuticals.


In line with the launch of the cargo cover last week  Sales Director, Thomas Hunt added, “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 15-25oC routes, power outages on 2-8 oC routes, upgrading and reducing the size of parcel shippers along with controlling temperatures of ULD’s for perishables.”

Want more? Optimising Airfreight

Time on the tarmac

Tarmac exposure time – a phrase that can instil fear into many pharmaceutical logistics professionals. Many perceive this as one of the biggest challenges when transporting medicines via airfreight.

Big pharma firm, Pharmascience, encountered shocking results regarding tarmac exposure from a set of international airfreight tests.

It transported a test pallet of paper towels across multiple destinations including: Montreal, Toronto, Bogota, Columbia, KSA and Brussels, Belgium.

The experiment was performed during the summer months to evaluate the tarmac temperature during a “general cargo” shipment.

Risk mitigation for the container was not deployed, for instance thermo blankets or an air pharmaceutical passive service.  As a result, the temperature exposure was very high. Up to 63°C in Bogota, to 49 °C in Montreal.

Gilles Jr Grégoire, Senior Manager of Global Logistics at Pharmascience explained that “The length of the temperature deviation was also incredible. We were above 25 °C for as much as 34 hours in Columbia.”

“This shows that risk mitigation is indeed necessary in order to avoid those type of temperature excursions.”

Want more? Your roadmap for transporting CRT Medicines