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New packaging plastic protects as well as aluminium foil

Date:
January 6, 2014
Source:
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Summary:
Scientists have created an alternative stretchable plastic for prolonging shelf-life of pharmaceuticals, food and electronics.
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The encapsulated nanoparticles layer (centre and right) consists of nanoparticles encapsulated by an organic species (left) via a self-assembly method in which the nanoparticles concentration is very high - up to 70% to 80% by weight.
Credit: Copyright IMRE

Tera-Barrier Films invents alternative stretchable plastic for prolonging shelf-life of pharmaceuticals, food and electronics.

The new plastic by TBF has one of the lowest moisture vapour transmission rates (mvtr), preventing air and moisture from penetrating the layer. The plastic has an air and moisture barrier that is about 10 times better than the transparent oxide barriers which are currently being used to package food and medicines owing to its uniquely encapsulated nanoparticle layer. The film has been validated by a number of companies and potential commercialisation partners.

Aluminium as a metal has very high oxygen and moisture barrier properties, but aluminium-based packaging comes at a higher processing cost, is opaque, non-stretchable, and interferes with electronics, making the integration of components like RFID devices difficult. TBF's new stretchable thin films are cost effective and transparent, with barrier properties comparable to that of aluminium foil.

Conventional multilayer barrier plastics have successive layers of barrier plastic films to enhance the impermeability to air and moisture but they have not achieved higher barrier properties. TBF's film uses minimal layers as its encapsulated nanoparticles increase the packing density of nanoparticles, which in turn makes it extremely difficult for water and oxygen molecules to pass through the film. The encapsulated nanoparticles also actively adsorb and react with water and oxygen molecules to trap them, thus further lowering the amount of moisture and air passing through the film.

"The University of Tokyo confirmed TBF's barrier film performance at 10-6g/m2/day," said Mr. Nakazawa, Managing Director, KISCO (Asia) Pte. Ltd. "There has been very favourable response from our potential customers in a spectrum of industries wishing to benefit by incorporating TBF's superior barrier films into their products, these applications range from food and medical packaging to high end PV, lighting and display sectors where TBF's barrier films excel."

TBF's reduced number of barrier layers and lower material costs, as compared to conventional barrier film technologies, brings in tremendous cost efficiencies into TBF's manufacturing process. With TBF's unique technology and low cost, access to newer applications like Quantum dot color filters, Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIPs), Food & Medical Packaging has been made possible in addition to the conventional application areas like OLED displays or lighting and flexible Solar cells. This opens up a wide spectrum of opportunities for the barrier films market and TBF's barrier films are well positioned to address the needs from these new and emerging applications.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "New packaging plastic protects as well as aluminium foil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132949.htm>.
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). (2014, January 6). New packaging plastic protects as well as aluminium foil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132949.htm
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). "New packaging plastic protects as well as aluminium foil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140106132949.htm (accessed September 3, 2015).

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