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Fraunhofer Institute debuts new packaging developments

October 12, 2006

1 Min Read
Fraunhofer Institute debuts new packaging developments

NUREMBERG, Germany - At the recent FachPack 2006 show in Nuremberg, Germany, visitors could learn more regarding a joint project funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research and the Fraunhofer Institute IVV (Freising, Germany). By treating polymer surfaces with novel plasma coatings, researchers have found a way to considerably improve the removal of residual contents from packaging waste. The objective is to reduce the residual contents in the package by at least half, down to anywhere from 1% to 10% of the starting contents of the specific product, says Karin Agulla from Fraunhofer.

To achieve this objective, films of nanometer thickness are required. Fraunhofer researchers are working on this development with industrial partners using an institute-developed plasma process. Up to 20% of the contents of good products can remain in existing packaging, which, besides being a waste, is a recycling problem. First phase of the project involved customized modifications of the surfaces using low-pressure plasma treatment. The project runs through 2008.

The IVV is also working on developments for packaging ground, roasted coffee to maintain stability of the aroma. This work, says Agulla, all relates to prolonging shelf life of products and better evaluation of stabilizing properties of the packaging. Based on the results of these studies so far, the IVV is developing packaging using less material to save processors on costly resin. The method uses moisture scavengers that absorb both moisture and oxygen that are present in the contents and headspace of the packaging. The idea is to replace aluminum foil in the laminate with an all-plastics solution.

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