Hawaii Patent of the Month – June 2023

In the world of thermoregulation, the demand for thermally conductive materials that provide effective cooling and heating solutions has never been greater. However, the challenge lies in finding materials that combine thermal conductivity with flexibility, especially for applications in wearable apparel. Enter Oceanit, an innovative company at the forefront of cutting-edge research and development (R&D), poised to revolutionize the field of thermally conductive materials.

Traditional thermally conductive materials, primarily metals, offer excellent heat conductivity but lack the necessary flexibility for most applications. Composite materials have emerged as a viable alternative, blending thermal conductivity with mechanical flexibility. While various polymer composites and elastomers exist, they often fall short due to limited thermal conductivity or high cost.

Oceanit addresses these limitations by introducing a breakthrough thermally conductive material that combines thermal conductivity, flexibility, and affordability. Their material comprises base polymers, such as ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or ethylene methyl acetate (EMA), and additives that significantly enhance thermal conductivity. Notably, graphite fibers have proven effective in achieving this goal. By incorporating a concentration of 8% to 40% graphite fibers, Oceanit’s material achieves remarkable thermal conductivity while retaining the desired flexibility for wearable applications.

To further optimize the material’s properties, Oceanit incorporates a secondary polymer and a plasticizer. The secondary polymer, such as ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), reduces hardness, while the plasticizer, like bis(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA), enhances thermal conductivity. This unique formulation produces desirable hardness and thermal conductivity ranges.

With these aspects, Oceanit’s thermally conductive material finds extensive applications in thermoregulatory apparel. It can be seamlessly integrated into cooling garments, cooling vests, and heating pads. The material’s versatility allows it to adapt to various wearable systems, ensuring maximum comfort and performance.

The manufacturing process for Oceanit’s thermally conductive material involves extrusion of the composite material, utilizing advanced technologies like twin screw-extruder compounding machines. This process yields thermally conductive tubes and sheets that maintain the material’s properties.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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