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Measurements on the Resistance of Flexible Packaging Materials to Puncture, Abrasion, and Flexure and the Relationship of These Measurements to the Performance of Packages Subjected to Conditions Causing Pinhole Formation

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Technical rept.

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The objective of this study is to develop the capability to predict the relative performance of flexible packages in the field from measurements of the mechanical properties of the packaging materials in the laboratory. Methods and instrumentation are developed to simulate and measure puncture, flexure, and abrasion occurring in flexible packages during use. Selected films and laminates are ranked by pinhole resistance to such damage. A simulated combat use test is conducted at Fort Lee, Virginia, to ascertain the relevancy between the laboratory instrumental determination of these mechanical properties of laminates and the actual field performance of freeze-dried foods using these laminates. It is found that laboratory instrumental determinations of puncture and abrasion resistances show excellent rank correlation with the package failures recorded in the field, while the determination of flexing action resistance in the laboratory shows only fair to no correlations with field performance of the food packages tested. It is therefore concluded, supported also by scanning electron microscope examinations, that abrasion and puncture damage which cause pinhole formation in the packages are the main factors causing package failure in this field use situation. Empirical equations are established be-tween the laboratory determination of puncture resistance and the probability of package failure in the field.

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  • Containers and Packaging

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