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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Ultra High Barrier Nanocomposites, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Ultra High Barrier Nanocomposites, Phase I
As the length of manned space missions increase, requirements to sustain those missions increase proportionately. Daily food supplies require food packaged and sent from earth, preparation mechanisms and waste treatment. The window for food preservation could be 3-5 years. This will require food packaging that provides excellent barriers to water vapor and oxygen, is durable at the processing conditions (retort sterilizing, microwave processing), and has low mass. Storage and disposal of used food packaging becomes a significant issue. Incineration is a reasonable waste treatment strategy, but is incompatible with materials used currently for high barrier packaging, like aluminum foil (which leaves ash). TDA Research, Inc. proposes to develop a multilayer nanocomposite film with superb resistance to permeation by water vapor and oxygen, for use as an extended shelf life food packaging material. We propose to prepare nanocomposites from commercially available packaging plastics and TDA's surface-modified nanoparticles. TDA's nanocomposite research has focused on the design of surface treatments to produce nanoparticles compatible with targeted host polymers. We can form well-dispersed nanocomposites with several packaging plastics and have seen improved barrier properties -- with nanoparticle contents less than 5%. TRL at the end of the Phase II contract will be at Level 5. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.