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Nano-brick coating 'most oxygen impermeable film in existence' Print
An innovative coating made from ?nano-bricks? has shown huge promise in boosting the barrier properties of plastic food packaging to extend shelf life and product quality, said new research.

Dr Jaime Grunlan, Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, said the transparent nano-film combines particles of montmorillonite clay, a soil ingredient used to make bricks, with a variety of polymer materials.
"When viewed under an electron microscope, the film looks like bricks and mortar," he said "That's why we call it 'nano-bricks'."
The coating, around 100 nanometers thick, is about 70 percent clay and contains a small amount of polymer, making it more eco-friendly than current plastics, said Dr Grunlan.

When layered onto existing materials such as polylactic acid, PET, polystyrene and polycarbonate films, it added strength and provided an improved barrier to oxygen, he told
Lab studies had shown the film to be 100 times less permeable to oxygen than existing silicon oxide coatings. This means it's also likely to be a better oxygen barrier than a metal coating, whose permeability is similar to that of silicon oxide, Grunlan noted.

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