MadgeTech Blog

Do You Need a Thermal Buffer?

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The need to moderate temperatures of sensitive products to maintain their intended purpose is becoming increasingly important. Depending on how sensitive a product is, experts acknowledge that slight changes in temperature do not always have a negative effect. However, to guarantee the extent of temperature fluctuations, a thermal buffer is needed.  

Thermal buffers are substances that act as a regulator to prevent false readings that may occur. In order to maintain the most accurate temperature readings, it’s important to properly implement a buffered temperature probe in cold storage.

A classic example of a thermal buffer in action is when a refrigerator door is briefly opened, there is a slight temperature fluctuation. Although the temperature in the storage unit may fluctuate by a few degrees, the internal temperature of the product being stored will not. Instead of sounding the alarms for an out-of-range reading, the thermal buffer simulates the product’s experience, rather than the air temperature.

There are many types of thermal buffers on the market, ranging from thermal blocks and beads to more traditional options like a bottle of glycerin or glycol. Although there are no standard guidelines for choosing a thermal buffer, the WHO and CDC recommend using a glycol bottle as a temperature buffer for refrigerators and freezers.

To help select the appropriate thermal buffer, Innovations in Pharmacy recommends considering these three questions:
1. What are the physical properties of the materials being stored?
2. What is the range of package sizes being stored?
3. What is the buffer material selected as the buffer?


MadgeTech offers a variety of data logging solutions for cold chain monitoring, along with the liquid thermal buffer, ethylene glycol.  Ethylene glycol prevents freezing of the buffer solution and can be used in environments ranging from -50 °C to 80 °C.

For more information on the benefits of MadgeTech data loggers for monitoring temperature-sensitive products, call us at (603) 456-2011 or email [email protected].

About MadgeTech Marketing:

Found in 1996, MadgeTech takes pride in maintaining our production process entirely out of our headquarters in Warner, New Hampshire. Proudly known as an industry expert, MadgeTech data logging solutions are sold in more than 100 countries around the world to the world’s most regulated industries, providing the validation needed for compliance and quality control.