Barrier and Permeation Properties of Polymers and Plastics

Plastics and polymers are widely used in industry. One of their main characteristics is their permeability. While this can be advantageous, it is essential to know to what extent and how that might limit their use in certain applications. Barrier and permeation properties of polymers and plastics testing is therefore critical for product development, manufacture and other areas. For example, the permeability of polymers and plastics when used as packaging or as protective coatings may render the underlying product vulnerable to environmental factors such as oxygen, humidity and water, both during processing and at the point of end-use. Barrier properties of polymers and plastics are therefore tested for the transmission rate for gases such as water vapour and oxygen. Tests are also conducted across the range of other characteristics of these materials to ensure that informed choices can be made at all points of the production process, from research and design to quality control, including problem-solving and failure analysis. Polymers and plastics are widely used in the packaging industry, as well as in a host of other scenarios such as the food, medicine and cosmetics industries, so the barrier and permeation properties of polymers and plastics is critical to consumer confidence.

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