Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

An innovative layer-multiplying co-extrusion process to improve gas barrier and reduce film thickness

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An innovative layer-multiplying co-extrusion process to improve gas barrier and reduce film thickness
A nanotechnology-based technique to block the transport of damaging gases through a polymer with less material.
In Development – This is ongoing research and development work by Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) at the Case School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – Flexible

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Production, Raw materials / Ingredients

Details

Researchers at the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems, University of Texas, are working on a nanotechnology-based technique to block the transport of damaging gases through a polymer, making it stronger while using less material.
 
Nanotechnology is a method of controlling matter at near-atomic scales to produce unique or enhanced materials, products and devices. With a different nanostructure, the gas and water vapour permeability of plastics can be engineered to preserve fruit, vegetables, beverages, wine and other food.
 
Using an innovative layer-multiplying co-extrusion process that takes two polymer melts and combines them as layers, multiplies the layers to four, and doubles that again as many times as desired, the research team discovered that a new structure emerges as confined polyethylene oxide (PEO) layers are made progressively thinner, thereby saving material and improving gas barrrier.
 
It is intended that this technology will be used to design and optimize unique layered systems for food and electronic packaging, drug delivery and diagnostic devices.  Layered material systems will be optimized to exhibit transport-property profiles that may be otherwise inaccessible.
 
More information about the research project is available at http://clips.case.edu/clipsresearch_plat2.html.

Potential Benefits

Should this research work prove successful it has the potential for packaging reduction whilst simultaneously increasing product protection.

Intellectual Property

The work of the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (CLiPS) at the Case School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any intellectual proporty or breakthoughs in the project will be subject to appropriate IP protection.

Consultant View

This work is still very much in the development stage, but if successful it does have great potential in terms of packaging material reduction and shelf-life improvement.

Contacts and Further Information

Company contact details:
Department of Chemical Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station
Austin, TX 78712-0231
Technology contact:
Benny D Freeman (Project Leader)
Tel: +1 512 232 2803, 232 3810 
Email: freeman@che.utexas.edu 

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