Improving the Oxygen Barrier of Polyamide Food Packaging by Using Nanoclay
Keywords:nanoclay, polyamide, composite, oxygen transmission rate, nano-additives, food packaging, nanocomposite, gas barrier
The effect of nanoclay additive on polyamide film oxygen permeability is investigated from the perspective of possible use as a laminate component for low-cost food packaging material. Montmorillonite nanoclay was melt-mixed in an industrial grade polyamide by twin-screw extrusion and the mixture was hot-pressed to a ~50 µm thick film. The film with 10 wt.% of nanoclay loading showed a 17 % decrease in the oxygen transmission rate (OTR), as compared to the pristine polyamide film (72 and 87 cm3/m2∙24 h, respectively). Despite the relatively high loading of the filler the obtained OTR exceeds that of the food packaging preferred upper limit of 10 cm3/m2∙24 h. XRD measurements confirmed the near-complete exfoliation of the nanoclay platelets. The platelets were found to be at an average angle of 9.5 degrees relative to the film’s surface plane. To comply with the requirements for food packaging, this angle needs to be decreased down to 0.4 degrees. To achieve this, different film-making methods enabling better control over the filler particles’ orientation need to be explored. Nanoclay addition increased the films’ yield strength (23 % for 10 wt.% film) and stiffness, while not affecting the films’ optical appearance.
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