Understanding Phase Change Material (PCM)

    PCMs are substances that can store and release large amounts of energy to maintain a specific temperature range over a long period of time.

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    Organic PCM's


    • Paraffin (Wax)
    • Fatty Acids (Oils)
    • Polyglycols

    Key Advantages

    • Chemically stable
    • High enthalpy (high heat storage)
    • Safe and non-reactive
    • No loss of effectiveness with cycling
    • Can be microencapsulated

    How do PCMs work?

    A phase change material absorbs and releases thermal energy in order to maintain a regulated temperature.

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    10 Facts about Phase Change Materials

    Can phase change materials (PCM) be a valuable part of a thermal management solution? These ten facts can help you answer that question and determine what PCM might be right for you.

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    Why Use PCMs?

    Phase change materials are unique as they provide completely passive thermal regulation – no power is needed to create this thermal regulation. In addition, PCMs can be used over and over again.

    Microtek_FINAL_Icons_Teal_Building & Construction
    Energy savings to owners when used in the construction of buildings and structures.
    Cool small electronic devices such as laptops and smartphones when space for active cooling systems is not available.
    Microtek_FINAL_Icons_Teal_Consumer Products
    Provide thermal regulation for textiles in a wide variety of areas including: active wear, infant car seats, hospital linens, outdoor gear, and more.
    Provide a better night’s sleep through thermally regulated mattresses, pillows, linen, and other bedding products.
    Microtek_FINAL_Icons_Teal_Packaging & Shipping
    Keep temperature-sensitive products (pharmaceuticals, vaccines, food products, etc.) at the right temperature during transit.
    Heating and cooling relief in remote locations without access to electricity.
    Heat storage and release in conjunction with alternative energy systems.

    Which PCM is Right for You?

    Due to the many advantages of organic PCMs over other the other two main PCM types, we will concentrate on organic PCMs. Microtek offers PCMs in three main forms:

    Each of these forms has its own unique advantages and is best suited to certain applications.


    This is the phase change material itself in its' simplest form. The material is a solid below its' melt point and a liquid above its' melt point.

    How to Use

    The material can be melted above its' melt point and then poured into the suitable container (pouch, piping, plastic molded parts, etc.).

    Forms Offered

    Not Applicable

    Custom Temperatures

    Available upon request.

    Available Standard Melt Points

    -30C, -10C, 6C, 18C, 24C, 28C, 32C, 37C, 43C and 58C.

    Example Applications

    Shipping and packaging, solar energy systems, radiant heat flooring, industrial/commercial apparel (work vests, etc.), thermal pouches


    Encapsulation of the PCM creates a tiny, microscopic container for the PCM. This means that regardless of whether the PCM is in its' solid or liquid state, the PCM will be contained. The capsules have excellent chemical and thermal stability (250°C+).

    How to Use

    The PCM microcapsules can be incorporated directly onto textiles, into latex or PU foams, into adhesives, into insulation, etc.

    Forms Offered

    Slurry: Mean capsule diameter: 2-3 um, 35- 45% solids aqueous suspension

    Wet cake: Mean capsules diameter: 14-24 um, ~70% solids, 30% water

    Dry powder: Mean capsule diameter: 14-24 um; >97% solids

    Custom Temperatures

    Available Upon Request

    Standard Melting Points

    Slurry form: 24°C, 28°C, and 32°C.

    Wet cake and dry powder forms: -10°C, 6°C, 18°C, 24°C, 28°C, 32°C, 37°C, 43°C

    Example Application

    Apparel: active wear, jackets, undergarments, hunting, outdoor gear, etc.

    Bedding: latex and foam mattresses, pillows, linens, toppers, ticking

    Construction: insulation, roofing, flooring, cement, paint, adhesives

    Electronics: portable devices, instrumentation, automotive, defense

    Where are PCMs Used

    What type of PCM is a good fit for your application?

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