Chilled and conditioned transport requires a special approach. Take medication. It is crucial that pharmaceutical products remain at a stable temperature or are properly cooled. Do the medicines get heated? Or do they get too cold? Then you can throw the shipment away. With claims (and costs and image damage) as a result. That is something you want to prevent. Chilled transport is all the more difficult when the temperature range is small. For example, if the product absolutely must remain between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius. However, it is not impossible to achieve this. In fact, there is a simple way to arrange this. Namely with Phase Change Material! How does this work exactly? And for which products and industries does this product offer a solution? You can read about it in this article.
Phase Change Material: cool chemistry
Phase Change Material (PCM) is a collective name for all materials that can change phases. With PCM you can play with the melting point of a cooling element, gel pack or cooling plate. Such a cooling element is normally filled with standard gel or water, but with our PCM solution a substance is added to it. This can be salt, for example. This addition changes the freezing point of the gelpack or cooling element to temperatures between -1 and -20 degrees Celsius. Do you want to increase the solidification point? That is also possible. Adjust the solidification point to e.g. +5 or +20 degrees. In addition, our PCM solution is compatible with virtually any cooling element, such as gel packs or cooling blocks. This gives you truly chilled / conditioned transport tailored to your needs.
PCM therefore offers a solution for products where a small temperature range applies and stability is desired. This differs per product. Take medicines: for some of them a range of 0-8 degrees Celsius is sufficient. In that case, an original gel pack is sufficient for good cooling. However, do the medications have to remain at a constant temperature? Then PCM is ideal. A certain type of PCM can also be used if the product freezes. For example with a batch of meat or fish. With special coldpacks, the freezing point is far below 0 degrees Celsius. The cooling element or gel packs are then much colder, which means that products remain frozen longer during shipping. In this way, the fish remains frozen throughout the entire journey! PCM has a temperature range from -21 to +20 degrees Celsius. With this product your options are endless.
Simple, effective and sustainable
Phase Change Material has a simple user instruction. However, there are a number of things you should pay attention to. As an example we again take the shipment of medication. It starts with the box in which you transport this shipment. You fill it with the medicines. Around it you build a cube with the PCM cooling elements for the best result. It is important that the box is filled optimally! There should be no empty spaces left. For a stable temperature, there should not be too much air circulation within your packaging.
Another important thing: freeze the pallet of cooling product well in advance! Do you want the PCM to reach a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius? Then you must freeze the pallet at -30 degrees. So the pallet must always be cooled colder than the PCM itself. This guarantees you a problem-free cooled transport of 24 to 48 hours! That is how long you can use the PCM. Some PCM are also reusable. This is the case with hard cooling elements and sponge packs. So this is a sustainable option.
Suitable for all markets
Let’s go back to our pallet of medicine. Chances are this cargo has to travel a long way. After all, these days we speak of global trade more often than local trade. What cooling option is recommended for such long distances? And what exactly is wise to do with short transport? You read it here.
In the air: dry ice or alternatives with extra cold elements
Our fictional shipment of medicine is destined for the United States. In that case, of course, we use the plane. In air freight, dry ice is a common option. If you do not want to use dry ice for environmental or cost reasons, other options are available. PCM, in combination with the right insulation, offers a solution! There are no requirements for this. Our pallet of medication can therefore be air conditioned and the cargo remains stable at temperature throughout the entire flight.
Overland: also for small units
Of course, it is also possible that our pallet of medicines is destined for a location in the Netherlands or Europe. Freight transport is then an option. In that case, you can make use of freezer or refrigerated vehicles. In principle, these cars work fine. However, there is also a disadvantage here: the size of such a car. Do you only transport one or two pallets of medicines? Then it’s a shame to use a whole refrigerated car for this, both in terms of costs and wasted energy. Multi-use elements are therefore ideal for small quantities. It is literally tailor-made transport!
De Ridder Packaging and Phase Change Material
De Ridder Packaging is an expert in the field of chilled solutions. Not only with PCM. Also with our innovative No Sweat Gelpacks and pallet covers. Troubleshooting: we love it! Would you like to get your products chilled from A to B? We like to think along with you. Take a look at our product range or contact one of our experts!