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Evaluation and optimization of seal behaviour through solid contamination of heat-sealed films

: Bamps, Bram; D'huys, Karlien; Schreib, Ina; Stephan, Benjamin; Ketelaere, Bart de; Peeters, Roos

Fulltext ()

Packaging Technology and Science 32 (2019), No.7, pp.335-344
ISSN: 0894-3214
ISSN: 1099-1522
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IVV ()

A method is presented to apply solid powder/granulate contamination (ground coffee and blood powder) in between the heat conductive seals of flexible packaging materials. A response surface method is tested and validated to optimize seal strength of heat conductive sealing with and without solid contamination. In this study, a maximal seal strength is defined as optimal. Using these methods, three typical packaging films with varying seal layer composition (metallocene linear low‐density polyethylene (LLDPE), plastomer, and sodium ionomer) are maximized towards contaminated seal strength. Contamination caused a decrease in seal strength and narrowed down the process window (seal temperature and time combinations) in which at least 90% of the maximal strength is obtained. The influence of seal layer composition on the clean and solid (ground coffee and blood powder) contaminated seal performance (seal strength, process window, and leak tightness) was evaluated. The film with the plastomer‐based seal layer outperformed the other films with respect to the width of the process window. It also reached a higher seal strength and a higher amount of leak tight seals (evaluated with the dye penetration test) after optimization. The hot tack test was evaluated as predictive test for the contaminated seal strength. The results of this study do not support an indicative relationship.