UK – Polymer technology leader Aquapak Polymers has partnered with testing and inspection player Industrial Physics to create a set of water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) testing methods for its Hydropol biodegradable polymer.

According to a news release from Aquapak, Hydropol offers all the benefits of traditional polymer plastics yet is water soluble and completely biodegradable as well as non-toxic and UV resistant.

It also offers multiple end-of-life options such as recyclability, compostability and compatibility with anaerobic digestion plants.

By using equipment designed by Industrial Physics’ product lines, Aquapak resolved to find a way forward by partnering with Industrial Physics, which will ultimately provide its customers with a real alternative to using traditional polymers, helping them cut plastic pollution, reports interplasinsights.

Industrial Physics is a global test and inspection partner that works across a wide range of industry sectors to help customers protect the integrity of their packaging, products and materials.

The group is made up of numerous specialist testing brands, including Systech Illinois, TQC Sheen, Quality By Vision, Eagle Vision, Steinfurth, Technidyne, RayRan, Testing Machines Inc., and many more.

An Industrial Physics’ research survey of 255 global packaging professionals highlighted that the testing of new sustainable materials was a major challenge.

Almost half (49 percent) said meeting testing standards was one of the biggest challenges they faced in the wider adoption of sustainable packaging materials.

An example of this is that current WVTR test methods and standards are based around traditional polymers rather than sustainable, biodegradable alternatives such as Hydropol.

The WVTR test method is a known challenge for hydrophilic polymers, and the team at Aquapak were looking to utilize knowledge and resources from Industrial Physics to develop a testing method that could be carried out in-house as well as replicated at its customers’ premises.

Max Phippard, Quality Control Manager at Aquapak, said: “Allowing the WVTR test to reach equilibrium means that we are confident in the results.

“Over the last few months, we have carried out full analysis of multi-layer samples to gain an understanding of how our customers can replicate their own WVTR testing regime on Hydropol.”

Alan Shema, Product Line Director at Industrial Physics, added: “We have reached a point where the WVTR test on Hydropol can be replicated anywhere in the world by using the approach taken by Aquapak and ourselves.

“This is a major step forward because it will shape how hydrophilic films are tested in future. It allows our global customers who source sustainable packaging materials such as Hydropol to carry out their own WVTR knowing they can trust the results.”

Industrial Physics offers a range of packaging, product, and material integrity testing solutions to food and beverage, flexible packaging, medical, pharmaceutical, and coatings markets.

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