Plastics testing laboratory Norner has made available a free calculator at its website so that developers, processors and buyers of plastics packaging can get a quick "fit for purpose" estimate for a specific package's oxygen transmission rate. The calculator is based on a calibrated simulation model developed by Norner, and provides an estimate for the OTR packaging made from PP, PET, EVOH and other materials.
|Designers of food packaging such as this blowmolded bottle (above) can use Norner's simulation tool to get a good estimate of the package's OTR (below).|
Knowing a package's OTR and the affect of oxygen on its contents, a brand owner or package designer can then gain valuable insight regarding realistic O2 levels in the package over time. This will provide an estimate of the shelf life of a packaged product.
According to Norner, the main objective of the calculator is to enable calculation of permeability for customer specific packages and geometries. The simulation model has been verified by tests done on real packaging samples. To access the calculator, processors can surf to this web address. Calculations can be made for film, laminates and flexible packaging, and round or square cups and bottles. Barrier properties of co-injection multilayer and in-mold-labeled packaging can be studied and evaluated.
The model can help with the simulation of package designs and structural changes during the development of new packaging. The user has the flexibility to specify the number of layers in a package, their thickness and the polymer in each. For the purpose of simulating real life situations it is also possible to vary environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and oxygen concentration.