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Plastics packaging: New testing equipment could help save on excess barrier material

Gas-and water-vapor barrier materials add cost and complexity to plastics packaging. What if you could reduce their use, or do away with them entirely? A new testing device helps you reach a quantified decision.

The device, called the Permatron-W Model 3/33 Plus, is a new generation of water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) equipment from Mocon (Minneapolis, MN). For the first time, units in the Model 3/33 series will offer automatic relative humidity (RH) capability via a new software interface. RH significantly impacts the water vapor transmission rate of many plastics, and thus to a large part determines how much barrier material is needed in a multi-layer package's design.

This software can help processors and their brand owner customers to achieve accurate and precise relative humidity conditions, with precision the key to understanding how barriers will perform in real-world conditions.  The new equipment can be used by processors to test the WVTR of films as well as finished flexible or rigid plastics packaging.

"Having a unit that can duplicate a realistic environment means that you won't be spending money on packaging barrier that exceeds your product needs. Reducing material thickness will also have a positive impact on transportation and other costs.  The ability to simplify the process for the lab operator is a big bonus," said Joel Fischer, lab manager at the supplier.

TAGS: Packaging
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