Armstrong integrates PCM in new line of ceiling panels

Armstrong World Industries Inc. has launched a new line of mineral-fiber ceiling panels with integrated phase change material.

Armstrong ceiling tile“Our Ultima Templok ceiling panels add a new performance attribute to our Mineral Fiber portfolio – energy savings,” Armstrong CEO and President Vic Grizzle said in a news release. “With PCM technology, we believe these panels can lower a building’s energy use and carbon emissions by reducing cooling and heating costs. Our investment in PCM technology establishes a broad platform for a multi-generational line of energy saving ceiling products that we believe will create a catalyst for increased replacement and renovation activity throughout our markets.”

Welded compartments on the back of each tile, right, are filled with a salt-hydrate PCM. The company says the tiles can reduce energy cost and consumption by up to 15% as measured in lab tests.

“The PCM in Ultima Templok helps to moderate temperature by passively storing and releasing
heat in response to fluctuations in real time,” the company says. “Heat transfers naturally into and out of Ultima Templok panels as the air temperature above and below them warms up and falls, respectively. Heat absorption typically occurs during the day when a space is occupied. Heat release occurs at night when the building cools and/or is

Armstrong recently acquired the Templok business and other manufacturing and technology assets from Insolcorp LLC, a PCM technology company based in Albemarle, N.C.

Insolcorp launched the Templok ceiling tile in 2019. Mick Dunn, Insolcorp co-founder and president, has joined Armstrong as technical sales manager for energy saving ceilings. Insolcorp Chairman Pete Horwath has joined Armstrong as senior scientist for phase change materials.


Loughborough University researchers have developed a simplified process to manufacture microcapsules filled with phase change materials. According to a report in The Engineer: “Previous methods to create PCM-containing microcapsules involved complex, hard-to-repeat chemical processes, resulting in non-uniform microcapsules. Overcoming this limitation, [the researchers] developed a highly reproducible, automatic process that produces uniform microcapsules using UV light and a special microfluidic device, the design of which was inspired by Lego bricks. … The device is said to produce uniform droplets of PCMs enclosed within a liquid shell. The shell hardens in several seconds when exposed to UV light, resulting in solid capsules.”

• Heat battery maker Sunamp Ltd. has a new partner in Belgium. In a Linkedin post, Sunamp said: “We’re pleased to kick off the new year strong by extending our reach, starting 2024 with an exciting agreement with Belgium-based importer Egeda. This partnership brings our Thermino range of space-saving heat batteries to HVAC wholesalers and installers in Belgium and beyond.”

RuhrTech logo• In a LinkedIn post, PCM maker RuhrTech of China announced the launch of its Interlocking VIP system, comprising four identical vacuum insulation panels. RuhrTech says the temperature-controlled shipper improves assembly efficiency by 50% and reduces the effect of thermal bridging.

Philip Kennicott, the Washington Post‘s architecture critic, visited New Gourna and Cairo in Egypt and Diyarbakir in Turkey to explore historic cooling techniques and see how the three basic elements of passive cooling — earth, water and wind — might offer relief in the age of climate change.

• Thermal energy storage startup Rondo Energy has made Fast Company‘s list of the 10 most innovative energy companies of 2023. The company’s Rondo Heat Battery is made of bricks that can be heated to 1,500°C and retain the heat for later use in factories as heat or converted back to electricity.

PV Magazine reports that Brenmiller Energy has finished commissioning a bGen thermal storage-based co-generation station at the State University of New York at Purchase. The demonstration system uses crushed rock to store the energy from renewables or the grid. The energy is stored as heat until it is ready to be discharged on-demand in the form of steam, hot water or air. Also this month: Brenmiller announced that it has received a $450,000 grant from the Israel Innovation Authority to be applied to its TES project at Wolfson Hospital in Holon, Israel.

Two updates from Inficold founder Nitin Goel on LinkedIn this month: “Inficold has been working in remote locations of India for uplifting farmer through access of cooling. Today our team transported 250 L milk cooler in one of the islands of Sundarban, West Bengal. It will allow the dairy farmers on these islands to market their milk produce in the mainland.” Inficold’s solar-powered coolers are equipped with phase change material. In another post, Goel reported that Inficold is developing a product to keep fish chilled within a temperature range of -4 to 0 C, increasing the shelf life of fish “by 3 – 4 times” compared to fish conventionally stored in ice boxes.

Arkeon heat pumpArkeon Energy Systems, a French startup founded in 2020, is in the early stages of introducing its SmartPAC high-temperature heat pump commercially. According to a report on, the company is investigating the use of phase change materials to increase the energy density of the heat pump’s thermal store. The company declined to comment on the technical aspects of this development.

Power Technology reports that the University of Edinburgh is exploring the potential use of excess heat from its supercomputer to heat up to 5,000 homes in Scotland. Captured heat would be stored in water held in a disused mine near the university’s Advanced Computing Facility. ACF generates around 70 gigawatt-hours of excess heat a year.

• The RAL Quality Association PCM will hold its next general assembly on April 9, 2024, in Barcelona, Spain. Member companies and representatives of the association’s external monitoring institutes will meet with faculty of the University of Barcelona‘s chemistry department.


Michaels Energy, a Chicago consulting firm, is seeking candidates for the position of thermal energy project developer, responsible for developing and implementing market development plans for sales partners and industrial/commercial clients.

• The Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., is looking for a postdoc research associate. The associate will focus on applying novel synchrotron characterization approaches and collaborate with other researchers “to provide understanding of thermal energy storage material degradation and work to control the degradation and instabilities for materials that are durable and high-performing,” including PCMS and thermochemical materials.


System for energy consumption reduction and cost savings in a building

Stasis patent drawingU.S. patent 11,879,664 (applicant Stasis Energy Group LLC, Pomona, Calif.):

“A system for obtaining energy consumptions, savings and cost reduction in structures adapted for human habitation which includes the utilization of a plurality of mats including phase change material encapsulated within first and second layers of plastic material having heat transfer capability disposed within the plenum area above a ceiling of a room within a building with the amount of phase change material contained within each mat being between 0.5 lbs. and 0.67 lbs. per square foot.”

Solar phase-change energy storage heating ventilation partition wall

U.S. patent application 20230417425 (applicant Tianjin University, Tianjin, China):

“A solar phase-change energy storage heating ventilation partition wall and modular heating system thereof, the partition wall consists of a solid partition wall (1), a thermal insulation layer (2), a decoration layer (3), frame of steel reinforcement (4), reflecting layers (5) and phase-change heat storage modules (6), the modular heating system comprises a solar air collector (13), phase-change heat storage units (23) arranged modularly, and a partition wall, to achieve energy storage and heating.”

Retrofit roof with a PCM modulated climate space

Roof patent drawingU.S. patent application 20240027082 (inventor Robert Joe Alderman, Poteet, Texas):

“A thermally modulating roof system wherein a climate space between an existing and new roof is occupied by a phase change material assembly. The system maintains an industry standard of no more than a distance of about 4 inches between the roofs while still incorporating a substantial capacity to modulate an otherwise rising temperature of a facility during the day. Unique methods of installing the system, utilizing it and circulating air through the system to enhance performance are detailed. The system may also be of the capacity to modulate an otherwise lowering temperature of the facility during exposure to colder environmental periods or conditions.”

More U.S. patents and patent applications:

Hybrid personal cooling and heating system (Arifur M. Rahman, Honolulu, Hawaii) | Headgear hyperthermia liner (Equalizer Technology LLC, Rocky River, Ohio) | Article of apparel (Under Armour Inc., Baltimore, Maryland) | Phase change material compositions and methods for their use to lower surface friction and wear (The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas) | Temperature-controlled product shipper (Packaging Technology Group LLC, Fall River, Massachusetts) | System for storing and/or transporting temperature-sensitive payloads (Phase Change Solutions, Greensboro, N.C.) | Compositions comprising phase change materials and methods of making the same (Phase Change Solutions, Greensboro, N.C.)


From Journal of Energy Storage:

Development and experimental investigation of full-scale phase change material thermal energy storage prototype for domestic hot water applications
Phase change material coated geotextile for temperature regulation of subgrade soil
Polypyrrole-modified flax fiber sponge impregnated with fatty acids as bio-based form-stable phase change materials for enhanced thermal energy storage and conversion
Solar-powered thermoelectric refrigeration with integrated phase change material: An experimental approach to food storage

From Acta Astronica:

Phase change materials in space systems. Fundamental applications, materials and special requirements – A review

From Solar Energy:

Efficient solar thermal storage of foamy bamboo charcoal-based composite phase change materials

From Buildings:

Evaluation of Phase Change Materials for Pre-Cooling of Supply Air into Air Conditioning Systems in Extremely Hot Climates
Enhancing Thermal Efficiency through the Use of Graphite-Infused Phase Change Materials in Roof Structures to Reduce Building Cooling Demand

From Powder Technology:

A novel approach to control the temperature of chocolate in a packaging box using ultrasound-assisted nanoencapsulated eutectic phase change materials powder
Synthesis and characteristic analysis of an inorganic composite phase change materials for medium-temperature thermal storage

From Building and Environment:

Personal cooling garments with phase change material packages – A critical review of challenges, solutions and recent progress

From Renewable Energy:

Thermal characteristics enhancement of paraffin wax phase change material (PCM) for thermal storage applications

From Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments:

Influence of metal encapsulation on thermophysical properties and heat transfer in salt hydrate phase change material for air conditioning system

From Processes:

Effects of Superabsorbent Polymer Addition on the Thermal Properties of Eutectic Phase Change Material

From Journal of Cleaner Production:

Thermal insulation performance of buildings with phase-change energy-storage wall structures

From Applied Thermal Engineering:

A novel battery thermal management system for cooling/preheating utilizing a polymer intercell heat exchanger with phase change material

From International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer:

Optimization strategy for battery thermal management system with phase change materials, aerogel and cold plates

From ChemistrySelect:

Recent advancement in the development of silicon-based phase change materials

From International Journal of Renewable Energy Research:

Performance Comparison of the Standard Photovoltaic Thermal Collector (PVT) and Photovoltaic Thermal Collector with Phase Change Materials (PVT-PCM)
Energy Efficiency Enhancement of Solar-Powered PV Cooling System with PCM Storage Tank

From ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering:

Transforming Sugars into Salts─A Novel Strategy to Reduce Supercooling in Polyol Phase-Change Materials

From Waste Management:

Innovative building materials by upcycling clothing waste into thermal energy storage matrix with phase change materials

From Chemical Communications:

Recent advances in phase change materials for thermal energy storage

From Journal of Physics: Conference Series:

Innovative Integration of Phase Change Materials and Conceptional Design of Test Cases – New Products for the Building Envelope


Connect with PCM experts and industry leaders on LinkedIn

LinkedIn logoMore than 1,800 people have joined a LinkedIn group devoted to the discussion of phase change material and thermal energy storage. You are invited to join the Phase Change Matters group and connect with PCM and TES experts from around the world.

This month we welcome Matías Álvarez Rodríguez, researcher in the GICONSIME research group at the University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain; Alaa Nasir, Ph.D. candidate in building technology and building materials at Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, Slovakia; and Dan Halperin, vice president of business development at P.G. Solar Greener, Kfar Saba, Israel.
In a recent post, group member Harald Mehling wrote:

“I would like to make you aware of results of an analysis I did in the past year, available as preprint at

“I looked at cases where electric energy is converted to thermal energy for heating or cooling, and compared the use of electric energy storage (EES) in the electricity grid to buffer renewable electricity generation to the option of using thermal energy storage (TES) on the demand side. … Overall, the analysis shows that TES has many advantages and that there should be much more awareness of its potential for the transformation of the energy system, especially in the near future.”

For the complete post, visit Phase Change Matters.


Does your company, agency or university have a job opening, new research, new product or other news you’d like to share? I would love to hear from you. Please contact newsletter editor Ben Welter at


RAL Quality MarkThis newsletter is made possible through the generous support of the RAL Quality Association PCM and the members listed below. To learn more about the association, including membership benefits, please contact Stefan Thomann, executive director, at

Axiotherm GmbH | B Medical Systems | Croda International Plc. | ISU Chemical Co. Ltd. | RuhrTech | Microtek Laboratories | PCM Technology | PLUSS Advanced Technologies | PureTemp LLC | Rubitherm Technologies GmbH | Sasol Germany GmbH | S.Lab Asia Inc. | Sunamp Ltd. | va-Q-tec AG