Multilayer coatings for flexible high-barrier materials
A multilayer, flexible, and transparent high-barrier system based on flexible plastic foils, polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) and ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene-copolymer (ETFE), combined with vacuum-deposited, inorganic SiOx layers and hybrid ORMOCERA (R) varnish layers were prepared in different orders on a semiproduction level. Barrier properties of prepared systems, as water vapour transmission (WVTR) and oxygen transmission (OTR), were measured and studied in connection with surface energy, surface topography, and water vapour adsorption properties. Correlations among layers sequence, barrier properties, and other parameters are presented, including some basic principles of permeation of substances through multilayer barrier systems. A combination of several inorganic and hybrid varnish layers is necessary to achieve the technological demands from a barrier standpoint. It is easier to suppress the oxygen transport than the water transport, due to the additional active penetration of water through hydrogen bonds and silanol creations at oxide interfaces, capillary condensation, and swelling with high internal pressure, leading to new defects.