Super Oxygen and Improved Water Vapor Barrier of Polypropylene Film with Polyelectrolyte Multilayer Nanocoatings
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Biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) is widely used in packaging. Although its orientation increases mechanical strength and clarity, BOPP suffers from a high oxygen transmission rate (OTR). Multilayer thin films are deposited from water using layer-by-layer (LbL) assembly. Polyethylenimine (PEI) is combined with either poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) or vermiculite (VMT) clay to impart high oxygen barrier. A 30-bilayer PEI/VMT nanocoating (226 nm thick) improves the OTR of 17.8 μm thick BOPP by more than 30X, rivaling most inorganic coatings. PEI/PAA multilayers achieve comparable barrier with only 12 bilayers due to greater thickness, but these films exhibit increased oxygen permeability at high humidity. The PEI/VMT coatings actually exhibit improved oxygen barrier at high humidity (and also improve moisture barrier by more than 40%). This high barrier BOPP meets the criteria for sensitive food and some electronics packaging applications. Additionally, this water-based coating technology is cost effective and provides an opportunity to produce high barrier polypropylene film on an industrial scale.
author list (cited authors)
Song, Y., Tzeng, P., & Grunlan, J. C.