Converters and manufacturers will be able to measure the real-life performance of packaging barrier products with greater speed and accuracy thanks to an enhanced water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) instrument, said Mocon Inc.
The US-based company said the upgraded version of its Permatran-W Model 3/33 Plus, launched globally at the beginning of June, now has the capability to automatically measure relative humidity (RH). Newly developed software in the equipment will help packaging companies to achieve precise relative humidity conditions that are “critical to understanding how barriers will perform in real-world conditions”, said Mocon.
The Permatran-W series tests the WVTR of films as well as finished flexible and/or rigid plastic-based packaging. The company confirmed the technology could allow manufacturers and converters to lightweight packaging that more precisely meets customer needs.
“Data gathered from testing will provide specific performance information which, in turn, can be used to modify material parameters,” a Mocon spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com. “That could lead to material source reduction and cost-savings. This development makes achieving and controlling a critical variable related to barrier performance simpler and faster.”
Relative humidity (RH)
Mocon said RH significantly impacts the water vapor transmission rate of many materials. Its new model assures RH accuracy by incorporating a patented modulated infrared probe within the test cell, with a high-precision sensor that provides parts-per-million sensitivity.
If for any reason the generated RH deviates from the desired set point, the system automatically corrects the generation of this to the selected set point. This means no operator input is required and insures the data generated is in accordance with the required levels of RH and temperature, said the company spokesman.
“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,” added company lab manager Joel Fischer. “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.”
The equipment comes in three-different master base control systems with three satellite modules—each providing different test capabilities for a maximum of 20 test cells per system, said Mocon.
The equipment has been designed for use in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetics sectors for use by packaging converters and manufacturers, as well as laboratories and research institutes. Its European distribution will be through the US-company’s subsidiary Paul Lippke Handles-GmbH. The price will be set by local distributors, said Mocon.