DailyDirt: Better Living Through Phase Change Materials
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
High school chemistry is probably the last time most folks hear about heats of fusion. As a quick reminder, when solid materials are melted, there's the energy to just heat up the material, and then there's some extra energy that goes into melting the solid (if it has a melting point) -- and that's the heat of fusion. This property can actually be useful for maintaining temperatures near the melting point of a material -- and that's a phase change material (PCM). This kind of thing can be done with other phase changes, too. Here are some interesting examples.
- Keeping your coffee at just the right temperature (~140 Fahrenheit) for longer periods of time is a convenient reality with phase change materials. Next up: Earl Grey. Hot. [url]
- PCMs can help to save babies! Keeping babies warm and not too cold is an awesome application for PCMs. [url]
- Swamp coolers take advantage of a very common material, water, for its heat of vaporization. Too bad, this kind of evaporative cooling only works in low humidity. [url]
- Wikipedia lists several applications for PCMs, along with a lot of other cool facts about these materials. It doesn't mention Coffee Joulies, but that could obviously change. [url]
- To discover some other chem/nanotech-related stuff, check out what's currently floating around the StumbleUpon universe. [url]