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Webinar

Thermal Conductivity Measurements for Cold Chain Technologies

In the food, pharmaceuticals, and chemical industries, many products are temperature sensitive. Too warm may induce degradation of the material – or rot in the case of food and biological medications. Too cold, on the other hand, may cause unpleasant physical or chemical changes – an emulsion may separate, or a food item may freeze – which can have quality or product fitness consequences. Cold chain logistics require additional planning and design considerations compared with standard logistics – for example, packages must be designed to maintain a safe temperature at a range of environmental conditions. Cold chain engineering requires advanced knowledge of product thermal stability, packaging material thermal properties, and often chemical properties such as phase change temperatures. Materials involved in cold chain solutions include:

  • Insulation materials such as foams
  • Refrigerants and other heat-transfer fluids
  • Metals for heat exchanger or refrigeration unit construction
  • Phase change materials for temperature control
  • Polymers and polymer composites for structural support and containment of materials
  • Polymer films and paper products for packaging
  • Food products, biological goods, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals as the products being shipped

In all of these material applications, a detailed understanding of the material’s thermal properties is needed. A key performance attribute in these applications is the thermal conductivity, which dictates the efficiency of a heat exchanger or insulation material, affects heat transfer coefficient of heat-transfer fluids, and predicts the cycling efficiency of a PCM. For the product in shipping, the thermal conductivity will dictate the uniformity, or lack thereof, of its heating or cooling, which can be key in estimating how long it may safely tolerate an elevated environmental temperature. This webinar will survey thermal conductivity techniques as applied to the cold chain industry.

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