For a research project I am looking for new application areas for a high-tech product, whose potential does not seem to be exploited entirely. I am speaking of high-barrier films, flexible multilayer films of plastic with a barrier function for gases (e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, helium, etc.), water/moisture, and flavor. The barrier function works in both directions. There are several other characteristics, e.g. resistance to oil (including mineral oil), greases, hydrocarbons, and organic solvents; high strength and puncture resistance, etc.
Traditionally, high barrier films are utilized in food packaging as they preserve and protect the good that is packed in order to optimize product shelf life and furthermore to reduce the need for preservatives. Methods used to produce those films involve blown film extrusion and cast film extrusion. The film can consist of up to 18 layers including polyolefin films (polyethylene or polypropylene), combined ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and / or nylon (polyamide), depending on the users’ needs. The lowest oxygen permeation rate that can be achieved by the film is 0.5 cm3/m2.day.bar, the minimum water vapor permeation rate is 0.3 g/m2.day.
The main goal is to identify new application areas and tap into new markets that either
1) would substitute other utilized materials by barrier films because of it’s higher user benefit or
2) did not yet find a solution for an existing problem and consider barrier films as a new eligible solution.
Possible showcases for application fields:
• Agriculture including bio-industry (no green-house applications)
• Automotive sector, e.g. applications for the interior
• Electronic sector, e.g. carrying layer for electronic components, batteries or flexible screens
• All fields where solid materials are replaced by flexible materials (now and potentially in future)
• Durable sector with a protection need of max. 5 years
Several application fields are excluded from the search field, especially the cosmetic, medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
I would be grateful for suggestions regarding other potential applications or more specific possibilities in the mentioned sectors.
Thanks for your support!