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Serious About Tarmac Time

While pharmaceutical products in the 2°C-8°C temperature range are usually being transported in more expensive passive or active shipping containers, products in the so-called 'controlled room temperature' or 'ambient temperature' ranges (mostly 15°C-25°C but also 2°C-25°C, 2°C-30°C or 2°C-40°C) are generally protected by more economical packaging solutions for the direct transport interfaces, i.e. the Tarmac times during airport ground handling situations.

The standard solution in the industry for this solution is thermal blankets. Currently, a wide range of blanket types coexists on the market, ranging from reflective bubble wrap, over thin reflective covers from nonwoven fabric to thicker, multilayer wrapping solutions.

To illustrate the difference between thermal blankets of different thickness but similar materials (bubble wrap, coated with aluminum foil on both sides), we performed comparative climate chamber tests. Our company’s standard solution, ECO-SAFE (7mm thickness), was compared with two blankets of 16 and 32mm overall thickness.

The test was performed on a EUR pallet of 120cm net height. A total of 16 empty corrugated cardboard boxes with dimensions of 600 x 400mm x 300mm acted as (worst case) dummy load. A total of 10 dataloggers was distributed symmetrically in the pallets. While the measured temperatures between different logger positions varied slightly, it was irrelevant which logger position is taken to compare different solutions.

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