Oxygen transmission rate (OTR) and water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) are two key material specification properties which determine the shelf life of food packaging.

Smithers offers a full range of barrier testing services, including an inter-laboratory proficiency scheme.

Laboratory permeability testing

The oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of films and packs is determined using specialist MOCON OX-TRAN 2/21 and Labthink C230M equipment.

Our WVTR testing of films and packs is performed using the MOCON PERMATRAN-W 3/33 and Labthink 390H apparatus.

Standards and accreditation

  • Oxygen permeability testing is made in accordance with ASTM D-3985, ASTM F-1927 and ASTM F-1307, DIN 53380-3 or JIS K 7126.
  • Water vapor permeability rates can be determined according to ASTM F1249, BS 7406 method A, ISO 9932 or TAPPI T557.
  • Other standards for WVTR based on pack or dish methods include USP <671>, ASTM E96, BS 2782:820A, BS 3177, DIN 53122 and JIS Z 0208, are also available.
Smithers is ISO 17025, UKAS accredited for oxygen transmission rate testing to ASTM D-3985, ASTM F-1927 and ASTM F-1307, and moisture vapor transmission rate testing to both
ASTM F-1249 and BS 3177.

Smithers also offer a pre-test integrity assessment on packs using a high sensitivity gas leak detection system and pre-conditioning of films by controlled flexing to ASTM F392 using a standard Gelbo flextester.

Sustainable packaging

At Smithers, we have the expertise and specialist test equipment needed to determine your paperboard’s moisture barrier – providing accurate data to give confidence that your coated paper products are meeting their barrier specifications.

The inherent porosity of paper structures can give rise to issues with testing their permeability. Test gas which ingresses the paper structure can potentially leave through the edges in addition to permeating through the barrier coating. This phenomenon is known as edge diffusion which changes the driving force, producing inaccurate data.

For thinner papers, Smithers uses a double foil mask to prevent moisture ingress from the edge. For thicker samples, the edge is sealed using an epoxy adhesive in combination with a single foil mask.

Get in touch with our experts to see how Smithers can help you achieve your sustainability targets and explore new sustainable packaging solutions, giving you confidence in your materials and processes.

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