To successfully manage delivery of temperature-sensitive items, your choice of insulation is key. It is also vital to control as many of the variables involved in any cold chain, from preparation, to packing area to delivery.
So why do you need gel packs or ice packs if you have insulation? Woolcool® liners are amazing insulators, the wool fibres work to regulate the temperature inside a package, as they do to regulate a sheep’s temperature. However, for longevity in a cold chain, ice packs/gel packs/cool blocks are needed. One way of looking at your ice pack or gel pack is like a frozen battery, that provides the dynamic cooling element at the heart of your package, the Wool will then act to regulate the temperature within the pouch, insulated bag
or thermal box
, slowing down and preventing the transfer of heat.
There are a number of different kinds of ice packs on the market – some using water ice, some using gels while others are ‘soaked’ – and each have their own positives and levels of performance and longevity, the right option for you will be based on your logistical requirements. Choosing the right kind of ice pack or gel pack is very important, making sure that they are strong, well constructed and robust and not going to break within transit. For example, a cheap ice pack is good in terms of cost, but may have brittle plastic that splits, which means any cooling element will leak once the pack defrosts. Luckily, if this does happen, then Wool has amazing absorption properties without it feeling or looking wet and so will absorb the moisture, negating the full impact of issues a water soaked delivery can present for a customer.
However, even after selecting the perfect ice pack for your needs, the most important factor about a cold chain box is the performance and properties of the insulator you choose. While ice packs or frozen blocks may be the ‘battery’ at the heart of your package, the key to any cold chain temperature-controlled delivery is majorly reliant on the efficiency of the insulation. Your choice of insulating material can also have an impact on weight, cost, customer experience, size and performance.