Explaining R-values

A critical approach to international standards within the temperature-controlled distribution lane.

Temperature-controlled logistics within pharmaceutical supply chains have changed significantly over the past two decades. As a result of this shift, pharma companies and their logistics partners are in a better position to specify cost-effective, fit-for-purpose thermal protection solutions.

However, the variability of performance testing and assessment methods for thermal protection covers can make it difficult to specify the right product. Calculations for measuring a cover’s thermal resistance properties (frequently referred to as R-values) can vary depending on the unit of measurement used, and they do not take into account heat transfer by convection and radiation. Furthermore, the industry’s apparent over-reliance on R-values when specifying thermal covers has the potential to increase temperature excursions, which can compromise expensive cargo and jeopardise entire shipments.

This whitepaper aims to deconstruct R-values within the context of temperature-controlled logistics, raise awareness of the issues surrounding R-values and seeks to develop an international industry standard to assess the performance of thermal protection solutions within temperature-controlled distribution lanes.