Oxygen permeability study of thin films with different thickness

Technical article – measuring the permeability of films


Abstract – Basically, increasing the thickness of film materials is one of the important measures to improve the barrier properties of packages. Meanwhile, the increase of materials thickness is bound to increase packaging costs. This article studied the influence of increasing the thickness of single-layer membrane in composite materials and the effect of barrier properties on packages.

Barrier performance is one of the basic properties of packaging materials to protect the content products. The barrier properties of packaging materials are related to materials structure, thickness, and other factors. For the same film materials, when the thickness is increased the barrier properties are improved. The composite materials are most used for plastic packaging. By combining different types of single-layer films, composite materials can make full use of the advantage of different materials to meet the packaging requirements.

Since they play different roles in packaging structure, the influence of increasing thickness of different layers is also different on improving the packaging permeability. Therefore, blindly increasing the thickness of the packaging material may not achieve the expected barrier properties, but seriously increase the costs. In this study, we tested the oxygen permeability of films materials with different thickness, and then analyzed the influence of increasing the thickness of different layers on the barrier properties of packages.

We used PET(12μm)/PE(45μm),PET(12μm)/PE(60μm),and PET(25μm)/PE(45μm) with different thickness as specimens for this study, and tested their oxygen transmission rate. We used the differential pressure method to test according to ASTM D1434 – Standard Test Method for Determining Gas Permeability Characteristics of Plastic Film and Sheeting. The equipment used is VAC-V2 Gas Permeability Tester, provided by Labthink Instruments. In principle, the oxygen transmission rate is the quantity of oxygen passing through a unit of plastic film in unit time under stated temperature and gas pressure on both sides of the films.

Specimen #     Specimen                          Thickness OTR
1                    PET(12μm)/PE(45μm)           106.297 cm3/(m2/24h/0.1MPa)
2                    PET(12μm)/PE(60μm)           87.406 m3/(m2/24h/0.1MPa)
3                    PET(25μm)/PE(45μm)          45.617 m3/(m2/24h/0.1MPa)


Compared with Specimen #1, the oxygen transmission rate of specimen #2 & 3 both decreased because of the thickness increase of PET or PE. The OTR of specimen #2 reduced by 18.891 cm3/(m2?24h?0.1MPa) with a 15μm increase in the thickness of PE layer, while the OTR of specimen #3 reduced by 60.680 cm3/(m2?24h?0.1MPa) with a 13μm increase in the thickness of PET layer. This indicates that the PET layer bears the main oxygen barrier effect in the test materials, and increasing the thickness of PET layer is more conducive to improving the oxygen permeability performance of the materials.

The equipment used in this test has three test cells and we can obtain the test results of these three specimens in one test. The test efficiency was very high. Labthink Instruments is dedicated to providing integrated professional quality control solutions for packaging manufacturers, food and beverage producers, medical and pharmaceutical companies, and various chemical and printing industries. Its Greater Boston headquarters combines functions of the North America sales division, the R&D center, the packaging testing laboratory, and the customer services center and administration.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1


Subscribe to our Newsletter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here