Chapter 26 - Barrier packaging materials
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Publisher SummaryThis chapter deals with the barriers in packaging materials. Plastic packaging materials offer toughness, lighter weight, and a level of design flexibility that glass and metal cannot meet. They are permeable to gases, vapors, and liquids, and this limits their use to products that do not require the highest barrier protection. Several ways to improve their barrier properties and to make them competitive with glass and metal are discussed. No other material group offers the same huge range in permeability as polymers do. The success in obtaining a packaging material with optimal barrier properties requires knowledge on all levels, from atomistic details to converting and handling properties. The chapter explains the way the introduction of new molecular groups affects the molecular rigidity, the material crystallinity, the interlayer adhesion, and the folding/sealing properties. All these parameters have an impact on the final packaging barrier properties. The important factors that determine and enhance the barrier properties are described with practical examples in packaging. The chapter also discusses the problems associated with selecting packaging materials for food.

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