Oxygen transmission rate (OTR) and water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) are two key material specification properties which determine the shelf life of food packaging.

Smithers offers a full range of barrier testing services, including an inter-laboratory proficiency scheme.

Laboratory permeability testing

The oxygen transmission rate (OTR) of films and packs is determined using benchmark MOCON OX-TRAN 2/21 equipment.

Our WVTR testing of films and packs is performed using the MOCON PERMATRAN-W 3/33.

'Real life' permeability testing

Smithers is also able to evaluate the oxygen permeation of packs under 'real-life' conditions using the Mocon OpTechTM platinum analyser with a flourescence-based sensor.

The sensor can be mounted within the pack for non-destructive permeation analysis in accordance with ASTM F2714.

Used in conjunction with a test cell, the apparatus is capable of accurately measuring the transmission rate of oxygen through micro-perforated films using the Dynamic Accumulation method described in ASTM F3136. Because this method does not require a constant flow of carrier gas, it is ideal for measuring the oxygen transmission rate of perforated packaging used in the food industry.

Smithers also offer a pre-test integrity assessment on packs using a high sensitivity gas leak detection system and pre-conditioning of films by controlled flexing to ASTM F392 using a standard Gelbo flextester.

Standards and accreditation

  • Oxygen permeability testing is made in accordance with ASTM D-3985, ASTM F-1927 and ASTM F-1307, DIN 53380-3 or JIS K 7126.
  • Water vapor permeability rates can be determined according to ASTM F1249, BS 7406 method A, ISO 9932 or TAPPI T557.
  • Other standards for WVTR based on pack or dish methods include USP <671>, ASTM E96, BS 2782:820A, BS 3177, DIN 53122 and JIS Z 0208, are also available.

Smithers is ISO 17025, UKAS accredited for oxygen transmission rate testing to ASTM D-3985, ASTM F-1927 and ASTM F-1307, and moisture vapor transmission rate testing to ASTM F-1249 and BS 3177.

Sustainable packaging

Get in touch with our experts to see how Smithers can help you achieve your sustainable targets and explore new sustainable packaging solutions, giving you confidence in your materials and processes.

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