Healthcare and MedicalHeat and Cold Therapy
PCMs (phase change materials / latent heat accumulators) can support heat and cold therapy. Through their large amount of heat storage capacity an exact and desired temperature can be maintained on the skin, irrespective of whether it is cold or warm.
Heat packs for physical or therapeutic applications are already well-established products. Smaller heat cushions are available for home use.
Cooling without hypothermia can be guaranteed by the optimum choice of the PCM melting point. After accidents or surgeries PCM pouches with cooling effect can be applied. Commercially available are cooling cushions for fever symptoms.
The above-mentioned products are mainly based on PX powder as PCM carrier. Due to the fact that the PCM is bound physically to the powder the PX feels the same to the user independent of temperature. With other words the phase change is not experienced haptically. Furthermore the PX has the advantage that there is no liquid running out in case of damage of the pouch.
Besides the PX gelled PCM can be filled into pouches, e.g., for treating burns. For this application, an ideal temperature regarding the melting point is chosen and the PCM then provides the comfortable cold over a long period of time.
Cooling pouches (released in China)