The Reduction of Solid Waste Associated with Military Ration Packaging
Final rept. Jan 2003-Dec 2005
ARMY NATICK SOLDIER CENTER MA
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Nanocomposites were researched as a potential technology to produce environmentally friendly food packaging for military rations that not only meet the military performance requirements but also decrease the amount of solid waste generated by the military. These nanocomposites formulations were melt processed into films and characterized for barrier, mechanical, thermal, and biodegradation properties. The polymers investigated were poly ethylene co-vinyl alcohol EVOH, low-density polyethylene LDPE, polyamides nylon, polylactic acid PLA and polyethylene terephthalate PET. The nanoparticles used for all the formulations were from the family of montmorillonite-layered silicates MLS that are organically modified to be compatible with the polymer. Formulations varied on the amount of MLS and in some cases compatibilizers were also incorporated to enhance polymerMLS interactions. In all cases, the nanocomposites had improved barrier and mechanical properties from the homopolymer. The outcome of the research showed the LDPE nanocomposites are the most promising for the Meal Ready-To-Eat Meal Bag while the EVOH nanocomposites sandwiched within a polyolefin is a potential candidate for the non-retortable and retortable food pouches.
- Containers and Packaging
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control
- Food, Food Service and Nutrition