Flexible High-Barrier Polymers for Food Packaging

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CE38P
Agency Tracking Number: 084959
Amount: $99,971.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X12.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
111 Downey Street, Norwood, MA, 02062-2612
DUNS: 076603836
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stuart Cogan
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 769-9450
Business Contact
 David Rauh
Title: Business Official
Phone: (781) 769-9450
Email: drauh@eiclabs.com
Research Institution
The development of a polymer laminate with water and oxygen barrier properties suitable for food packaging and preservation on 3-5 year manned space exploration missions is proposed. The laminate is a multilayer structure comprising polymer and inorganic dielectrics that will provide near-hermetic encapsulation of food items for the duration of these missions. The properties and expected benefits of the multilayer packaging include: oxygen transport rate of <<0.005 cc/m2-day; water transport rate of <<0.005 g/m2-day; suitable for retort, microwave, and high pressure sterilization (>135oC); specific weight <40 g/m2 for a 34 micron thick laminate meeting H2O and O2 permeation goals; inorganic content of <2.4 g/m2; contains no metal foils; and, a higher strength-to-weight ratio than current barrier materials, providing a thin high-strength laminate with sufficient ductility for packaging and sealing operations. In Phase I, polymer laminates will be fabricated and characterized by oxygen and water permeation tests to demonstrate barrier properties. Mechanical and accelerated testing, using steam sterilization and high-temperature water immersion, will be included to demonstrate the suitability of the laminate for packaging applications. In Phase II, the manufacturing process would be scaled-up and methods for forming packages, vacuum and inert gas packaging; and heat sealing addressed.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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