When it comes to packaging for the cold chain, two important questions to consider are whether the packaging will hold its temperature and if it is durable enough to handle rough handling and multiple uses. Temperature stability and hold times are expected functions of any packaging system. And, today’s EPS based platforms do the trick. How many companies differ is in the pack out configuration of these systems (ie refrigerants, wall thickness, weight, cost, sizes, etc).
Traditional systems use an EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam
EPS, also known as Styrofoam, is one of the foam materials used to create a cold zone into which heat from the outside enters at a very slow rate. Consisting primarily of air bubbles, EPS has good insulating properties because it slows the progress of heat through the material. It also is one of the foams most resistant to moisture absorption. EPS absorbs energy and can be manufactured in nearly unlimited shapes and sizes. Another reason EPS is good for cold storage applications is that it is resistant to virtually all water-like substances including dilute acids and alkalis, as well as water-soluble alcohols and silicones.
How to increase system durability without adding weight or cost
Durability comes into play when you are looking to maximize the investment in your packaging to include systems that are reusable multiple times. Rather than a single-use EPS container, this is where other companies have turned to plastic shells or corrugate boxes. Mesa Labs, formerly Mesa Labs, however, has focused on another method.
By combining EPS with EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) foam you get the best of both worlds
While EPS has good insulating properties, it is not very durable. EPP, on the other hand, is a lightweight foam with excellent energy absorption characteristics. The material can withstand repeated shocks and deformations, earning high marks for usability. Foams molded from EPP also retain their high degree of dimensional stability when exposed to temperature extremes. The elasticity of EPP is very appropriate for packaging valuable and vulnerable products such as glass vials, organs or syringes.
The TempTrust Extreme gives you the best of both: Durability and Cost Effectiveness
After 10 years of analyzing standard transportation modes in North America and documenting thousands of data points across all major origins and destinations, Mesa Labs developed the TempTrust™ Extreme packaging. It uses a combination of EPS and EPP foam. We call it “Extreme” due to its ability to hold temperatures during the extremes of transit and storage.
The TempTrust Extreme line is the first platform to combine EPP and EPS material to create a packaging solution unlike any other. EPS provides the insulation while EPP provides the durability:
- Bounce-Back Technology™ – Patented EPP memory material bounces back from dents and dings
- Exceeds Regulations – 120, up to 200 hours, multiple seasonal and temperature profiles
- Ultra-lightweight – Easily one of the lightest packaging solutions on the market today
- Recyclable – Recyclable outer shell can be shredded and remolded
- Reusable – Qualified for multiple openings and maximum use
- Black Color – Resistant to dirt and grime and more attractive after repeated reuse
The TempTrust™ Extreme Packaging System is designed to meet a variety of packaging and transport needs. The complete TempTrust product line includes 24, 48, 72, 96, 128, 144, 168 and 200-hour solutions in multiple sizes, temperature ranges and seasonal pack-outs.
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