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Understanding the impact & importance of barrier films in the packaging industry

Understanding the impact & importance of barrier films in the packaging industry

Understanding the impact & importance of barrier films in the packaging industry

We live in a world filled with wonder materials like barrier films that make our lives more comfortable and convenient. The impact of barrier films is all-encompassing in our lifestyles. Be it umpteen number of products that fill up our kitchens, homes & office, or large-scale industrial & pharmaceutical applications, barrier films are used to enhance & facilitate these experiences. Broadly the main purpose of using Barrier Films is to ensure the preservation of packaged contents in a cost-efficient, environmentally responsible manner and simultaneously to also lend these products an aesthetic appeal.

Let’s explore all the technical aspects & commercial applications of Barrier Films in this quick read.

Which are the various types of barrier films used in the modern packaging industry?

Broadly the packaging industry relies on 3 main types of Barrier films to cater to various types of end usages. Metalized Barrier Films, Transparent Barrier Films, & White Barrier Films are employed to fulfill packaging needs to keep contents safe & fresh.

Metalized Barrier Films: Provided with a thin layer of coating with metals like aluminum, the metalized films are used to provide a barrier against the transmission of gas, oxygen, water, vapor, and UV light to & from the contents of the packaging. Further, there are 3 main types of Metalized Barrier Films, namely High Moisture Barrier (HMB), High-Speed Barrier with High Hot Tack (HSB), & Ultra High Barrier (UHB).

Transparent Barrier Films: are used in the packaging industry to prevent moisture absorption & for stopping the defacing or deterioration of printed information & graphics. Based on the coatings & chemical properties Barrier Films can also be classified into the 3 subtypes, namely Aroma Barrier Film (AB), Aroma & Oxygen Barrier Film (AOB), & High Barrier Film (HB).

White Barrier Films:  are white opaque cavitated BOPP films treated on one side and coated with PVdC on the other side. These offer excellent moisture and gas barrier properties and superior dimensional stability and stiffness.

How does the use of barrier films enable the achievement of numerous unique packaging applications?

Each class of barrier films provides a specific set of properties to suit different industries & types of products. For example, the Both Sides Treated Metalized Barrier Films are preferred for products like Shampoo Sachets, Dry Milk Powder & Powdered Drinks Sachets since these films provide a High Moisture and Oxygen Barrier with WVTR < 0.25, OTR <30, an outstanding Metal Brilliance & superb Metal Adhesion.

On the other hand, Metalized Barrier Films & High Hot Tack Films are the go-to choice for high-speed packaging lines of products like biscuits, bakery, confectionery & snacks as these barrier films increase productivity & decrease energy and manpower costs. This category of films is popular for providing a very Good Moisture Barrier: MVTR – <0.25 gm/sqm/day & Good Oxygen Barrier: OTR < 30 cc/sqm/day.

The Ultra High Metalized Barrier Films are renowned for preserving aroma & flavors and are ideal for converting 3-layer laminates to 2 layers without barrier loss. These films provide Ultra High Oxygen and Moisture Barriers with OTR & WVTR < 0.1 and are suitable for sandwich layers in a multi-layer laminate. Further, Ultra High Metalized Barrier Films also offer a wide range of heat sealing ( 95 to 145-degree celsius, High Stiffness, Low & Stable COF and align with High Hot Tack and Seal Strength.