List of eutectic plates

Eutectic solutions

OLIVO eutectic liquids are aqueous solutions containing mineral salts and refrigerants, a complete range of products designed for professionals.

A eutectic liquid is essentially a mixture of water and salts whose melting point (or freezing point) is constant and lower than that of water. For example, a -17°C eutectic liquid will melt (or solidify) at -17°C: the melting point of the eutectic liquid is much lower than 0°C, the melting point of water. OLIVO eutectic gels are non-toxic.

All OLIVO eutectic solutions are stable and do not degrade over time. You can also use eutectic cartridges for an unlimited period of time, as they retain their cooling power.

Colour code

To identify the type of eutectic plate in our product range, even if the label is no longer legible, each liquid is coloured according to its melting temperature: +21°C pink solution | 0°C colourless solution | -3°C yellow solution -12°C orange solution | -17°C green solution -21°C blue solution | -26°C colourless solution.

Eutectic plate, gel, accumulator: everything you need to know about cold sources

Ice packs, eutectic plates, cold accumulators, eutectic gels and refrigerant packs are all confusing terms. OLIVO briefly explains what you need to understand, how it works, what you need to choose to ensure the cold chain is perfectly respected, and what impact this choice has on the cold chain.

The French language is rich, and one and the same thing can be said in many different ways.

So a bar of ice, a eutectic plate, a cold accumulator, a eutectic gel, a refrigerant pack and so on often refer to the same thing: a liquid solution that is transformed into a solid by freezing and which returns the accumulated cold to the freezer during its re-liquefaction phase.

Eutectic plate placed in an Olivo isothermal container made of high-density polyethylene.

Differences between eutectic plate and ice loaf

While the names may mean the same thing, in practice there are real differences between the solutions available on the market.

1 – Consumer ice packs and cold accumulators

An ice pack for the general public generally refers to a ‘cartridge’, a blown plastic envelope filled simply with water.

This type of cooler, similar to a bottle of frozen water, is ideal for a sunny Sunday picnic.

2 – Eutectic plates

However, when it comes to delivering heat-sensitive products (fresh or frozen food products, ambient, refrigerated or frozen pharmaceutical products, etc. without breaking the cold chain), these solutions are not satisfactory from the point of view of the quality of the cold provided (stability) or the length of time the temperature is maintained.

In these cases, professional solutions such as eutectic plates will be used.

How do professional eutectic plates work?

Eutectic packs or gels, eutectic plates or professional cold accumulators are the best answers to professional specifications.

This type of refrigerant is made up of water on the one hand and mineral salts on the other. That’s the difference with “consumer” equipment.

Adding mineral salts, depending on their type, quality and concentration, enables the phase change temperature (freezing temperature) of pure water to be varied.

So the phase change temperature required for a eutectic plate designed for frozen products will not be the same as for one designed for fresh products.

This has a direct influence on the temperature released by the cold source (e.g. a -21°C eutectic plate must be frozen at -26°C and will release cold at -18°C) and gives it a qualitative character.

Eutectic liquid and cold diffusion

Another parameter of interest in cooling gels or eutectic plates is the eutectic plateau. This eutectic plateau, specific to this type of professional refrigerant, allows the accumulated cold (negative calories or frigories) to be released slowly and at a constant (stable) temperature.

The cold released by a eutectic plate for fresh produce will therefore always be above 0°C until the eutectic mixture has completely liquefied, rather than at -3°C with rapid flow and temperature rise.

It is the choice of phase change temperature and the quality of the eutectic plate that characterise professional cold accumulators.

What’s the difference between cooling gels and eutectic plates?

In addition to the eutectic solution, the cooling gel contains viscous agents, making the solution more pasty. The positive point is the homogeneity of the mixture of water and mineral salts, which ensures even distribution of the cold.

However, eutectic gels are less durable than eutectic plates.

This is why OLIVO, with a view to extending the life of its products, has decided to opt for eutectic plates with a rotomoulded envelope like isothermal containers and a eutectic solution with the same advantages as cooling gel while maximising heat exchange.

OLIVO therefore recommends the use of eutectic plates to its customers and offers a range of 7 eutectic liquids with 7 different phase change points to meet all their requirements (also depending on their sector of activity) and different colours (to make work easier for operators).

Additional information on eutectic plates

Finally, it is important to remember a few tips:

The question box

1 – What is a eutectic plate?

A eutectic sheet is a rotomoulded or blown PE envelope that has the ability to absorb, store and then release energy through latent heat transfer. The latent heat is the result of a phase change in the eutectic solution, which changes from a liquid state to a solid state.

The eutectic plate is used to maintain a specific temperature inside an isothermal container for a set period of time. It is used to maintain the temperature of heat-sensitive products between +2°C/+4°C, +2°C/+8°C, +15°C/+25°C or at -18°C and -80°C.

Derivatives of eutectic plate exist: cooling gel, gel pack, cold accumulator, ice bar. However, their composition and use are different in BAC or ROLLen high-density polyethylene.

2 – How does a eutectic plate work?

The eutectic plate works on the principle of change of state. Therefore, in order for it to solidify and return cold to the isothermal containers, they must be frozen 24 hours before use in an enclosure whose temperature is 5°C below the melting temperature of the eutectic plate used.

Example: eutectic plate at -3°C => freezing in a cell at -8°C.

In the particular case where the outside temperature is lower than the temperature to be maintained inside the isothermal box, it is necessary to use the eutectic plate in its liquid state. This enables it to absorb the cold that is trying to get into the container, thereby maintaining the right temperature for transporting and/or storing sensitive products.

3 – What type of liquid is used in the cold accumulator?

The eutectic solution injected inside is made up of water, mineral salts and refrigerants. These solutions are non-toxic. Olivo has also developed a recipe for its own eutectic plates for its insulated containers. Our R&D department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has over 60 years of proven expertise in this field.

The type and recipe of eutectic liquid depends on the melting point of the plate and the temperature maintenance required to maintain the cold chain in the isothermal containers chosen for professionals.