Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Improved oxygen and moisture barrier performance from nanocomposite coating

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Improved oxygen and moisture barrier performance from nanocomposite coating
A water-based nanocomposite coating for flexible packaging provides high oxygen barrier over a wide range of relative humidity (RH).
In Use – Films made with this coating have been developed and commercialized by InMat®

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Product Waste Reduction, Recycled content/recyclability, Not Applicable

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – Flexible

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Storage

Details

Innovative new water-based nanocomposite coating for flexible packaging provides high oxygen barrier over a wide range of relative humidity (RH).
A one micron coating provides an oxygen barrier that performs more than fours times as effectively as PVDC coated PET at relative humidity from 0-80 per cent. Its performance is almost twice as good at 85 per cent RH. The coating also provides similar moisture barrier to that of PVDC coated PET when tested at 85RH and 40 degrees Celcius. It gives around ten times better oxygen barrier than EVOH (EVAL E) and 40 times better moisture barrier.
 
This coating contains hundreds of nanodispersed platelets per micron of coating thickness. These platelets form a tortuous path for molecules such as oxygen and aromatics, dramatically increasing the barrier properties of the substrate. Nanolok™ coatings form an extremely efficient barrier which can be 100’s of times less permeable than the uncoated substrate. In addition, these coatings are transparent, thus useful for see-through packaging applications. Thin coatings are applied, making these coatings highly cost-effective: approximately 1-2 microns (0.04-0.08 mil) of Nanolok™ coating, for example can replace 12 microns (0.5 mil) of EVOH to achieve the same level of oxygen barrier.
 
The manufacturer says that its technology allows it to combine water-dispersed polymers with nano-dispersed clays into stable water based barrier coatings. Its products contain no solvents or hazardous materials and are appropriate for food packaging applications.

The Nanolok WR 20135a coating has double the amount of solid content than the company’s previous coatings, which also reduces drying time and speeds up the coating process. The cost of applying a coating is inversely proportional to the speed at which the coating can be applied. For most businesses, the speed is limited by their drying capacity. Providing a coating with twice the solid content means the same coat weight can be applied with half the water. This translates into higher coating speeds and lower coating process costs.

The coating meets compostability standards on bio-based films and is compliant with all European and US food contact standards
 
The Nanolok WR 20135a nanocomposite coating has been developed by the US-based company InMat®
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

As well as improving barrier performance, and therefore potentially reducing food waste in the supply chain and home, this technology also provides environmental benefits during processing. Improved coating speeds will also translate into lower energy demands.

Intellectual Property

There are patents pending in the name of InMat®.

Consultant View

Innovative use of nano-technology has enabled this manufacturer to create an effective oxygen barrier coating for use in flexible plastic, food packaging.  The resulting packs should afford greater protection to foodstuffs in the supply chain and assist in preventing food waste through oxygen ingress.  There are many other examples of packaging innovation on the REID database and reviewers should interrogate the database using search terms such as "oxygen barrier technology" and "shelf life extension" for other examples which may be of interest.

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
InMat® Inc.
216 Route 206, Suite 7
Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone: 908-874-7788
 
Technology contact details:
Dr Harris A. Goldberg (CEO and president)
Tel: + 1 908-874-7788

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