THE HEAT SEALABILITY AND SEAL INTEGRITY LEARNSHOP
Posted on 20/11/2014
by Phil Neal
Heat Sealing a hot topic for delegates at RDM ‘Heat Sealability & Seal Integrity Learnshop’
The latest meeting in the RDM Learnshop series was co-hosted by University of Lincoln on 19th Nov 2014. This knowledge sharing event for technical staff focused on Heat Sealing of packaging and achieving higher quality seal integrity. Delegates from a range of industries enjoyed hands-on practical testing sessions and technical presentations from expert speakers:
Mike Dudbridge, University of Lincoln, presented his 2009 study ‘Seal Integrity and the impact on waste’. Mike informed delegates that in the study of 100 heat sealers installed across various industries, approx. 24% produced seals exhibiting some flaw, of which 8% were ‘leaky’ packs. The three major causes were identified and delegates agreed that they see these issues in their businesses. Mike suggested if industry focused on the management of seal integrity and the causes of sealing issues, then significant improvements could be achieved.
Lynneric Potter, Campden BRI, presented her recent study ‘Better Packaging Seals’. Lynneric highlighted the safety and quality implications of poor sealing, and showed examples of various types of leaks and weak seals. She summarised common QC methods for checking seal integrity and showed how methods such as manual squeeze and water bath/vacuum are ineffective at identifying poor seal integrity. Packs with known channel leaks were tested using a variety of methods, only the Exos™ leak tester and dye penetration were effective, with the former giving quantitative data.
Mark Dawes, DuPont Teijin Films, shared his extensive knowledge of polymer science relating to heat sealing. He reviewed basic definitions of bonds, solubility, diffusion and how these define the compatibility of polymers for heat sealing. Mark described interdigitation as a way to describe how molecules flow to form seals. He then described typical failure modes, and used examples of sealing to APET, RPET and aluminium trays to highlight the challenges.
Dimitri Saerens, Engilico, shared his experiences of heat sealing process monitoring technology. A system developed at University of Leuven in Belgium, takes a ‘fingerprint’ of every seal and rejects packs with sealing errors. The system is now installed on many production lines especially where poor sealing can be the cause of product safety concerns, or leads to customer complaints. The technology has recently been adopted by a leading multinational food producer and is expected to become widely used.
Following the technical presentations, delegates mingled with industry peers, and enjoyed hands-on practical sessions with a wide range of testing equipment, including Lab Heat Sealers, Hot Tack Testers, Oxygen Analysers, Leak & Burst Testers, Non-destructive leak testers, Universal Testers, and on-line seal inspection systems.
The next meetings are listed below, and invitations can be sought by registering for the RDM e-Newsletter, www.rdmtest.com or contacting Phil Neal at RDM Test Equipment.
March 2015 – The Paper, Carton & Corrugated Packaging Testing Learnshop
May 2015 – The Permeation and Barrier Materials Testing Learnshop
November 2015 – The Heat Sealability and Seal Integrity Learnshop
MOCON's new generation instruments for permeation measurement
Posted on 18/11/2014
by Phil Neal
The first models of MOCON's new product family:
the OXTRAN 2/22H and the PERMATRAN-W 3/34G
Fully automatic testing mode for fast accurate results with minimum operator input
Fast test set-up and faster time to results
Coulox coulometric sensor - no calibration required