#05 –EPISODE 5
Paper-based packaging of the future: barrier, lighter and stiffer!
Such an easy principle! To produce a new 100% biobased, recyclable, and biodegradable paper-based flexible packaging. Aluminium, fossil-based plastics…
LE PITCH !
Such an easy principle! To produce a new 100% biobased, recyclable, and biodegradable paper-based flexible packaging. Aluminium, fossil-based plastics… so many materials targeted by several regulations for which the actors of the value chain actively seek biobased alternatives that would integrate well in a circular economy.
Cellulosic materials and biopolymers can be an interesting and high-performance solution if they offer sufficient barrier performances to preserve foodstuffs, as well as the mechanical resistance needed to protect the contents of the packaging.
These two angles have been investigated in the Sherpack European Project, which ended in 2020. To develop a biobased, recyclable, biodegradable, barrier, light and strong paper-based flexible packaging material, such was the technological challenge of the project!
The material developed during Sherpack combines 3 innovative technologies: the wet-lamination of a layer of MicroFibrillated Cellulose to reach excellent grease, oxygen, and contaminants barrier performances; the coating of a water-based biopolymer emulsion to obtain water and water vapour barrier; and screen-printing of a polysaccharide grid using a specific pattern to increase the stiffness while reducing the grammage of the material.
Target reached! The work carried out during the project has shown both the barrier properties of an MFC layer and the efficiency of a starch grid printed on the paper substrate. The oxygen transmission rate gets below 2cm3/m2/day and the barrier to contaminants allows the respect of specific migration limits. The specific stiffness of the material is tripled once the grid is printed and dried, thanks to the auxetic design used and the 3D shape taken by the paper during the drying step. The use of a commercial grade of starch and a conventional printing process paves the way for industrial scale up of this 100% biobased process!
Do you want to know more about the technologies used in Sherpack? Contact-us!
Project leaders = Caroline LOCRE & William GOURGEON