Cargo cover to remove hot lane excursions

Bolton, Lancashire, UK: TLX Cargo has developed a cargo cover incorporating phase change material into the structure that solves the problem of hot lane temperature excursions on the tarmac.

TLX Cargo new cover removes temperature spike seen on most pallet data loggers in air cargo

Thomas Hunt, sales director, TLX Cargo says it removes 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 degree C 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,” he says.

The cargo covers combine an outer surface that reflects thermal radiation. The structure of the cover remains flexible even when frozen and can be moulded around corners, while being thin, light, and easy to handle. TLX Fibre-Flex can be used for walls as well as the top of cargo covers.

Traditional phase change materials are expensive and difficult to use, the company says. They crystallize into a frozen block but even in a liquid state they must be contained in rigid containers or gel packs.

Phase change material packs have the potential to burst if pressure is applied, corners and joins in rigid packaging create gaps that are thermal weak points. They are alsoheavy and difficult to apply in thin layers
The TLX Cargo solves all these problems, says Jim Smith, head of insulation technology at TLX. “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 oC blankets freeze at around 18oC (ie 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 beauty 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 dependant on the ambient temperature.

Hunt is positive about the future; “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.”

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