Gel packs are a cold chain management insulating solution. They contain Phase Change Material (PCM) that goes from liquid to solid and vice versa. The PCM is usually a nontoxic refrigerant, designed especially to ensure there is no leakage or spillage. The gel packs are first placed in a cooling system to chill them to the desired temperature. They are then used to cover the product on all sides and sealed to maintain a consistent temperature.
Shipping of temperature sensitive materials can be a challenging process, especially for those products where the slightest deviation may render the product useless or worse. This is especially true when dealing with biopharmaceuticals, blood and tissue, or medical equipment containing pharmaceutical products. There are different temperature ranges specified for the maintenance of different products, but a large proportion need to be maintained within the range of 2 to 8°C. The entire process of storage and transportation of these temperature sensitive materials is regulated by various state, federal, and international institutions.
Maintaining the product temperature within a certain temperature range is a challenging proposition that requires carefully designing the insulation material. The insulating material should also do a twofold job of protecting the shipment from the extremes of heat and cold based on the different climatic conditions likely to be encountered during transportation. There are specific challenges to deal with in case of each of the options before choosing a refrigerant. For instance, a combination of ice and water can be used to achieve the desired results, but it can add substantially to the weight of the shipment. It also has other drawbacks such as needing extra levels of thermal insulation to ensure that the ice does not come in too close a proximity to the payload.
Several factors are considered before settling upon a specific thermal insulating solution for shipping temperature sensitive products. The temperature range, the duration of transport, and the weight and volume of the products are some of them. Some other factors to be considered are the space required for the cold chain packaging, its reusability, as well as methods of disposal for the same. The Phase Change Material used in gel packs is chosen on the basis of its small volume and low mass, apart from its performance as a thermal insulation solution. A combination of gel packs in liquid and solid states is used to maintain the temperature within the desired range over the required period of time. However, since the cost of PCMs is more than that of water, it would be a cost effective solution only if it was reusable.
TempTrust Gel Packs
The TempTrust non-toxic, low cost gel packs (aka soft pouch) phase change materials (PCMs) are used with validated insulated containers for transporting sensitive products in cold or hot environments. They are sealed in a heavy duty constructed pouch that can be easily cleaned for reuse. Our gel packs are constructed of a durable material that can be molded prior to freezing and are available in multiple sizes and temperature sensitivities.