Fibre based composite films
The purpose of this EU-funded project is to establish fibre-based packaging as the dominant player in the packaging area within a decade. It will achieve this by applying nanotechnology solutions to deliver lean and added value fibre-based packaging options for users and consumers. The overall aim of the subproject carried out at KTH is to develop an innovative composite material, combining mineral nanoparticles, nanofibres and renewable polymeric matrices. The composite material must exhibit good barrier, perm-selectivity, and adequate thermal, mechanical and optical properties. It should have properties that allow it to be used as monolayer, i.e. without the need for lamination to other materials in packaging applications. The materials developed will be characterized and their applicability as food contacting materials will be assessed. Different approaches to materials development will be used:
1) Mixtures of nanoparticles and renewable polymers 2) Combinations of fibres andrenewable polymers - processes to obtain micro and nanofibres will be tested and studied 3) Development of renewable polymers filled with nanofibres and nanoclays. Different methods will be tested to produce composites of both fibres and clays on a biopolymer matrix. A wide range of polymers from renewable resources (cellulose and cellulose derivates, polylactic acid, polyhydroxyalcanoates, gluten, etc.) will be investigated. The processability of the materials for the manufacturing of films and structures will be assessed. Attempts will be made to obtain models for predicting the behaviour of such materials as to be used in the design of active packages. Finally various processing technologies will be studied.