Extending Shelf Life

A new ASTM standard provides a new test method for measuring the oxygen transmission rate through plastic packaging for food, pharmaceuticals, and other products. The standard (F3136, Test Method for Oxygen Gas Transmission Rate through Plastic Film and Sheeting Using a Dynamic Accumulation Method) covers film, sheeting, laminates, coextrusions, and coated or uncoated papers or fabrics.

Oxygen transmission rate is a crucial property of packaging that helps to extend and control the shelf life of products.

The new standard will be used for: package material and design evaluation; quality control and assurance; research and development; and competitive product and film analysis.

"The development of the new standard was important because it validates commercial development of low cost, durable and simple-to-use instrumentation for oxygen permeability testing," says ASTM member Nick Winters, packaging consultant, Harbor Associates LLC.

Manufacturers of packaging films and industries that use such films will be the primary users of F3136. Commercial testing labs and packaging schools will also find the standard useful.

The subcommittee that developed the standard (F02.10 on Permeation) welcomes interested parties to join in its work. Future revisions to this standard could include a wider range of semi-permeable films.

To purchase standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Sales (tel +1.877.909.ASTM; sales@astm.org).

CONTACT Technical Information: Nick Winters, Harbor Associates LLC • Avalon, N.J. • tel +1.914.393.8343 | ASTM Staff: Diane Lake • tel +1.610.832.9661 | Upcoming Meeting: Oct. 28-29 • October Committee Week • Tampa, Fla.

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