va-Q-tec launches the “Thermal Coat” for increased temperature integrity in pharmaceutical air and sea freight

  • va-Q-tec presents a solution based on phase change materials (PCM) for the first time for use in pharmaceutical air and sea freight transportation.
  • The “Thermal Coat” protects temperature-sensitive goods from temperature peaks and thus increases product safety.
  • The solution enables improved autonomous performance and a buffer time of up to 24 hours.

va-Q-tec, an expert in thermal energy efficiency and temperature-controlled supply chains, presents a new solution for the transport of temperature-sensitive goods in pharmaceutical air and sea freight. The so-called Thermal Coat, which is equipped with innovative va-Q-gel technology, solves challenges with its ability to coat temperature-sensitive goods directly and in a space-saving manner. The va-Q-gel consists of gelled phase change material (PCM), which is particularly leak-proof due to its composition. It can be individually pre-conditioned for the ranges +2 °C to +8 °C or +15 °C to +25 °C and then requires no further external energy supply. With a qualified performance of up to 24 hours, the Thermal Coat outperforms conventional solutions. This improves autonomous performance and buffer times during transportation and therefore the safety of the goods being transported.

The advanced technology is used in air and sea freight, especially for the transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, generics, vaccines, and bio-pharmaceutical products.

In air freight applications, the va-Q-tec solution significantly improves the performance of conventional Thermal Covers by providing a qualified buffer time of 7 hours for extreme ambient temperatures and direct sunlight on the tarmac. Another advantage is the gelled form of the phase-change material, which makes the use of liquid substances obsolete. This makes it particularly light and leak-proof.

When used in temperature-controlled sea freight containers (reefers), the Thermal Coat offers a qualified temperature integrity of 24 hours, even if the active cooling unit fails or if there is a lack of energy supply from the reefer, e.g., during loading or unloading of the cargo ship. This minimizes the risk of temperature deviations and thus the risk of damage to the temperature-sensitive goods. In the event of a power failure, the solution increases the autonomous temperature integrity of sea freight reefers by up to three times.

Thanks to its design, the Thermal Coat allows pallets to be loaded up to 50 % faster compared to similar solutions. The solution also helps to make efficient use of space in sea and air freight by saving 30 % of space per pallet. The height of the reusable solution can be flexibly adjusted, and it offers enhanced stability thanks to clipping technology, in which the PCM is strapped directly around the goods. The Thermal Coat is currently available for +5 °C and +20 °C transports.

With the Thermal Coat, we are expanding our product portfolio to include sea freight for the first time. Our partners receive a qualified solution that not only triples the time buffer in the event of power failures in sea freight reefers, but also significantly increases product safety for long transport routes on the ship,” explains Fabian Eschenbach, Global Head of TempChain at va-Q-tec.

The Thermal Coat will be presented for the first time at air cargo India from 14 to 16 February.