ASTM Flexible Packaging Testing Services

ASTM Flexible Packaging Testing Services

Flex-Pack Engineering provides ASTM flexible packaging testing services for a wide variety of analytical and physical testing for flexible packages. Whether it is one test or one hundred tests we can handle your requirements. We can also provide custom designed flexible packaging testing services.

Flex-Pack Engineering helps our customers understand the requirements for entering new markets and provide the ASTM flexible packaging testing services to meet the fitness for use and chain of use requirements.

What sets Flex-Pack Engineering apart from a typical testing lab is our ability to provide valuable insights into the testing results to help customers solve their flexible packaging challenges. A typical testing lab will deliver lab results but will not provide any insights into what the results mean within the context of your problems or goals. We feel it is not the testing that is so important, it is the actionable insights and recommendations that the testing results provide that can help our customers achieve their flexible packaging goals or solve their problems.

Analytical and Physical ASTM Flexible Packaging Testing Services We Provide

Analytical Services:

Ash, DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter), TGA (Thermo Gravimetric Analysis), TMA (Thermo Mechanical Analysis), DMA (Dynamic Mechanical Analysis), FTIR Transmission and  ATR, Microscope (Fourier Transform Infrared), Solvent Extraction, GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry), HPLC (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography), XRF (X-Ray Florescence), ICPMS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry Inductive Coupled Plasma), AA (Atomic Absorption), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), OIT (Oxidative Induction Time), UV-VIS Spectrophotometry, Karl Fisher Titration, Moisture Analysis, and more.

Physical Testing Services:

OTR (Oxygen Transmission Rate) , MVTR (Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate) , Tensile, Elongation, Secant Modulus, COF (Coefficient of Friction), Block Re-Block, Elmendorf Tear, Dart Drop, Slow Rate Puncture, Puncture Protrusion (puncture resistance), Thickness Profile, Burst Testing, Melt Index, Density, Optical Microscopy, X-Section Analysis, Surface Analysis, Heat Seal, Heat Seal Profile, Hot Tack, Hot Tack Profile, Ink Draw Down, Ink Rub, Sheffield Smoothness, Gurley Stiffness, Gelbo Flex, Surface Tension Testing (Dyne Testing), Haze,  45 degree Gloss, 60 degree Gloss, Opacity, Lab Color Testing,  Capillary Rheometry (Rheology) and more.

Your Best Choice for ASTM Flexible Packaging Testing Services

At Flex-Pack Engineering we have over 30 years of ASTM flexible packaging testing experience which allows us to review a flexible packaging problem and have a good idea of the cause and recommendations on a solution. We like to tell our customers: it is not the flexible packaging testing that is so important, it is the knowledge and experience to know what is going on with a problem based on those lab results, and provide insights and recommendations on how to improve your flexible packaging products.

Flex-Pack Engineering is here to help you find the answers you need to be more competitive and improve your products in the marketplace. Ready to start a conversation? Give us a call at 888-300-1492 or fill out the form on this page.  

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    Biodegradable Flexible Packaging Solutions

    Biodegradable Flexible Packaging Solutions

    What is a biodegradable polymer?

    Biopolymers have been around for quite some time. Here at Flex-Pack Engineering, we have been working with biopolymers for at least 20 years. During that time, we have seen biodegradable polymers continue to evolve to offer more and more options for the flexible packaging industry. Biodegradable polymers are a special class of polymer that breaks down after its intended purpose by bacterial decomposition process and results in natural byproducts.

    Probably the most common biodegradable polymer is PLA which is a polylactic acid polymer. PLA is different from thermoplastic polymers since it is derived from renewable resources such as corn or sugar cane. In contrast, most plastics are derived from petroleum resources. Bioplastics is a term that is used to describe plastics that are derived from biopolymers such as PLA.

    Challenges in Using Biodegradable Polymers in Flexible Packaging Products

    There are many challenges when considering using biodegradable polymers for a flexible packaging product. Currently, there is limited production with biopolymers as compared to standard polymers, so the economies of scale are not present which makes producing biodegradable packaging more expensive. A typical polyethylene manufacturing facility can produce hundreds of millions of pounds of material annually while availability of biopolymers is limited to millions of pounds. Additionally, the availability of biodegradable polymers which are fully renewable and sustainable and can also function and contain our food products and industrial products is challenging. The materials must be strong, clear, shiny, allow for printing, and can be run through standard equipment and have fitness for use characteristics equal to standard plastic options, as well as be price competitive. It is a serious challenge.

    Future Considerations and Expectations with Biodegradable Packaging

    As technology for biodegradable polymers continues to evolve we expect more and more opportunities to integrate bioplastics into our everyday workflow for flexible packaging products. Currently, there is a spectrum of expectations regarding biopolymers. On the one side is the expectation that biopolymers have to match existing materials in physical property performance, shelf life, and cost expectations. On the other side of the spectrum is the reality of where biopolymer technology and performance are at today. As the technology for biodegradable polymers continues to improve we feel the expectations will shift from the outer edges of the spectrum and converge more in the middle allowing for more integration of improving bioplastics into flexible packaging products.

    How Flex-Pack Engineering Can Help Make Sense of Biodegradable Polymers

    At Flex-Pack Engineering we help customers make sense of biodegradable polymers from an engineering perspective. We help sort out and characterize biodegradable polymers along with all of the other polymers available in the marketplace. We can analyze standard film products vs. biofilm products and make informed recommendations on the applicability of one product vs. another in fitness for use and chain of use criteria.

    Furthermore, our team can provide the flexible packaging testing and consulting services related to proof of concept on compounding, film making, printing, and laminating. We have the knowledge and expertise with biodegradable products and are actively working on projects that are utilizing biodegradable plastics with our customers to produce biodegradable packaging. We are an experienced and talented partner for companies who want to develop biodegradable packaging products.

    When you are ready to have a conversation about if biodegradable packaging is an option for your packaging products, call Flex-Pack at 888-300-1482 or fill out our request information form.

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      MVTR Testing – Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing

      MVTR Testing, Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing

      WHAT IS MVTR?

      Moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) also known as water vapor transmission rate is the process of measuring the amount of water that can permeate through a polymer package film or membrane on a square meter basis in 24 hours. Flex-Pack Engineering has the experience and highly specialized instruments which measure MVTR by creating a moisture gradient from one side of the film to the other that allows the moisture to pass through the material and measures the permeation value.  

      MVTR testing is important in the flexible packaging industry because it ensures that food products maintain the necessary amount of moisture within their package: not too dry, not too moist, just right!

      Flex-Pack Engineering provides MVTR Testing for customers for a variety of reasons including quality control or to allow a manufacturer to provide a certificate of conformance that certifies the moisture permeation value for a particular package. Additionally, we can provide MVTR Testing as part of the design and development process to evaluate if a new film material has a better MVTR than the previous film design. We also help customers who are having issues with the MVTR of a particular film and assist in tracking down the problem and offering recommendations for a solution.

      Flex-Pack Engineering offers very competitive MVTR Testing rates and turnaround times. However, the most important element that Flex-Pack offers our customers is the interpretation of MVTR test results and providing recommendations to help solve flexible packaging problems or improve a new film design. A traditional testing lab will deliver testing results but not provide the insights into what the results mean in context of a customers’ goals or issues. With our consultative approach at Flex-Pack, we always discuss MVTR testing results with our customers to make sure they understand the data and how it effects the overall product design.

      Flex-Pack Engineering, Your Turn-Key Provider for MVTR Testing and Analysis

      At Flex-Pack Engineering, we bring our 30 year education in developing packaging products to not only bring you MVTR testing results, but to help you understand those results to improve your business. We offer very competitive pricing, quick turnaround times, and outstanding customer service to help you with all of your flexible packaging testing requirements.

      Ready to have a conversation? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your MVTR Testing!

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        Specialty Plastic Compounding

        Specialty Plastic Compounding

        Flex-Pack Engineering can assist with all of your specialty plastic compounding requirements. If you are looking to work with out-of-the-ordinary specialty additives, specialty minerals or specialty polymers, for example biodegradable additives, minerals and fillers, Flex-Pack Engineering has the technical knowledge and engineering expertise to provide reliable plastic compounding solutions.

        Additionally, if your specialty plastic compounding needs are related to low volume short runs and small batches, Flex-Pack Engineering is your ideal choice. We routinely work with our customers on small batches of a few lbs to a few thousand pounds and have a wide variety of resources available to handle low volume requests.

        Specialty Plastic Compounding Product Development and Process Development

        The team at Flex-Pack Engineering has the expertise and resources to assist with your product development as well as process development of your specialty compounding needs.

        For product development cases we can analyze the fitness for use criteria and develop the best product to perform based on that fitness for use as well as chain of use criteria. We examine what you want the package to do, how it must perform, and how the package will be used to fill or hold product as well as the environmental conditions in which the package must endure. By determining the exact package requirements, we can design a better package that meets all criteria and can save money on the packaging materials.

        For process development or process optimization where the lab work has already been completed and you are now looking to scale up to commercial production, Flex-Pack Engineering can provide process optimization to help produce that product in the most efficient and cost-effective way.

        Flex-Pack Engineering, Your Ideal Choice for Specialty Plastic Compounding

        At Flex-Pack Engineering we have an over 30 year education in working on specialty plastic compounding projects. Our team brings a high-level of technical expertise as well as engineering and lab capabilities to test and validate specialty plastic compounding products. We can further take those products and make film and packaging out of them to help get products into the marketplace faster. Our long chain of experience can help your company find the best solutions and optimize production runs to help save money on your specialty compounding projects!

        Ready to start a conversation? Give us a call today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your specialty plastic compounding.

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          Flexible Packaging Solutions

          Flexible Packaging Solutions by Flex-Pack Engineering

          Flex-Pack Engineering can meet your most demanding flexible film packaging challenges for food packaging or industrial packaging. We offer a wide variety of flexible packaging services, testing and consulting including, but not limited to:

          Our flexible packaging engineers work hard to design the RIGHT flexible packaging products for your application. Our solutions are designed to a set of fitness for use (FFU) criteria through thoughtful analysis of the product life cycle and chain of use (COU). By determining the exact package requirements, our team can design and produce a better flexible package that meets all of the criteria and can save money on packaging materials.

          Flexible Film Packaging Testing: Results with Actionable Intelligence

          The Flex-Pack Engineering team doesn’t just deliver fast test results, we offer insights and recommendations for our customers to interpret the test results and make better decisions on their flexible packaging products and processes. We contribute our 30 plus years of experience in the science and practice of flexible film packaging to our customers’ projects to improve efficiencies, save money, and get products to market faster! For a more complete list of our analytical and physical testing services, visit our Flexible Packaging Testing Services article.  

          Flex-Pack Engineering – Your Best Choice for Flexible Packaging Solutions

          At Flex-Pack Engineering we offer competitive pricing, quick turnaround times, and thoughtful, quality driven customer service. If you are looking for product development, process optimization, testing services, or have a tough problem that you need help solving, reach out to the team here at Flex-Pack and we can help with all of your flexible packaging challenges, and solutions!

          Let’s have a conversation! Call us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form.

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            Plastic Compounding

            custom polymer compounding

            Plastic Compounding by Flex-Pack Engineering

            Solving Tough Plastic Compounding Challenges

            At Flex-Pack Engineering we enjoy taking on the toughest toll, custom and specialty plastic compounding challenges. Through careful analysis of the fitness for use (FFU) and chain of use (COU) and understanding of the performance expectations for your compounded product, we can select the best raw materials, engineer the best performing screw designs, and develop the process and manufacturing control plans to ensure a smooth running and high performing result.

            For example, consider a challenging application of compounding a very high viscosity, polyethylene – which is extremely difficult to compound on its own and you also have the need to include a difficult functional filler, such as clays, glass, or nanoparticles into the mix. It takes a significant amount of torque, requires a special screw design, and a great deal of expertise in process understanding to achieve a winning result. This type of technical challenge is at the center of our wheelhouse at Flex-Pack Engineering. We can analyze, design, and put in place a plan to produce the best results for these types of technically challenging plastic compounding applications.

            Once the ideal design and process are created and proven we then select the best plastic compounding line on which to run on from our network of solid, reliable, and consistent contract/toll plastic compounding partners who share our philosophy of taking on the toughest plastic compounding jobs and who can produce high quality compound quickly and cost effectively.

            Additionally, when working with Flex-Pack Engineering for your custom plastic compounding needs you have our entire team as your partner throughout the process. Since we selected the materials and engineered the screw designs and processes, we understand what can go right and what can go wrong and are in the perfect position to troubleshoot any issues that may occur in the plastic compounding process. We work synergistically between production and customer as a very well informed and educated bridge throughout the business relationship.  

            Flex-Pack Engineering: An Ideal Partner for Plastic Compounding

            In our 30+ years of experience we have worked with customers who have had a wide array of technical challenges related to plastic compounding, or who needed short runs for proof of concept. We can accept smaller jobs and are an ideal choice to get plastic compounding projects done quickly. By applying sound science and engineering principles to solve the toughest plastic compounding challenges as well as provide overall flexible packaging solutions, we help our customers overcome those challenges and make a great product that can help win new business. And we can get it done quickly!

            Ready to have a conversation? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your difficult custom plastic compounding challenges!

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              OIT, Oxidation Induction Time Testing

              OIT Testing, Oxidation Induction Time Testing

              Oxidation induction time, also referred to as oxidative induction time or abbreviated as OIT (ASTM D3895) is a standardized test performed via DSC (differential scanning calorimetry) which measure the level of thermal stabilization of the material tested. OIT testing allows us to take many types of materials and determine their thermal stability, especially in a hot environment. Oxidative induction time testing can be used in a variety of applications, but we are always testing the level of thermal stabilization of the material.

              The process for oxidation induction time (ASTM D3895) testing involves putting the material in a DSC, heating the material to a certain temperature and over time evaluating when the material starts to thermally degrade. At Flex-Pack Engineering, our process would typically include heating the material up beyond its melting point in an inert gas such as nitrogen and holding it at this temperature for the duration of the testing.   We would then change the atmosphere from nitrogen to air or pure oxygen and hold the material at a constant temperature and evaluate the heat flow curve start to change. Where the heat flow curve starts to change, its rate of change and when the changes end, helps us determine the thermal stability of the material.

              Oxidation induction time testing allows Flex-Pack to analyze the thermal stability of materials and find better performing materials relative to thermal stabilization for specific customer requirements and situations.

              Why Flex-Pack Engineering for OIT Testing?

              At Flex-Pack Engineering, we have experience not only with polymers but with additives and additive chemistries and the mixing and blending of those additives through compounding to improve thermal material performance. We understand the materials, we understand the additives, we understand how to put them together and we understand how to test the materials to evaluate their performance. Moreover, we understand what the material performance means as it relates to application development and can make recommendations to our customers to achieve the best thermal performance results.

              As part of our flexible packaging solutions we not only provide you testing results, but we also provide insights and recommendations on what the results mean and how to improve or upgrade your current materials for better overall performance.

              Let’s have a conversation! Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your OIT Testing.

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                Reverse Engineering Services for the Flexible Packaging Industry

                Reverse Engineering Services for the Flexible Packaging Industry

                In the flexible packaging industry, reverse engineering services involve evaluating competitive samples that are available in the public domain or available commercially for packaging products. The process involves breaking those products down to understand how they are assembled and the types of materials that comprise those structures. At Flex-Pack Engineering based on our long history in the flexible packaging industry we can understand how those structures were made and what processes were used to create those structures.

                For example, consider the evaluation of a potato chip bag. The team at Flex-Pack would discover that the bag consists of two layers of polypropylene laminated together, with the first layer clear and reverse printed so you could see the packaging artwork. The second layer when you look inside appears shiny and would be metalized polypropylene and be a slightly different film which has excellent sealing properties. The reverse engineering process involves not only understanding the materials involved, but the special properties associated with each material. Flex-Pack would use a variety of analytical testing techniques such as infrared and DSC (differential calorimetry testing) and other tests to make the determinations of what the properties of the structures entail.

                After these tests are completed we can understand very well, about 95%, of what that structure is comprised of as well as its unique properties and be able to tell our customers the details of the package: here’s what it is made of, here’s how it was put together, and here’s how we believe this can be assembled using your capabilities.

                Why Reverse Engineering?

                One of the most common reasons that companies want to do competitive analysis and reverse engineer structures is when they don’t currently participate in a particular industry or market segment. If they are making film and selling to converters who are making various types of flexible packaging products such as potato chip bags, frozen meat ball bags, etc., they may want to participate in that industry, but don’t know what is required. So, they have two choices: they can send their sales teams out to talk to potential customers to investigate what the specifications are and if there is an opportunity to work together. Or they can pull a package off the shelf and reverse engineer that structure to understand what is involved in that package, what materials make up that product, and if they currently have the capabilities with their current materials, equipment, and facility to make a similar package. Reverse engineering is easier, faster, and less expensive.

                Why Flex-Pack Engineering for Reverse Engineering Services?

                Flex-Pack Engineering is your ideal partner for reverse engineering services in the flexible packaging industry. We bring our long history (of 30 years of experience) to packaging analysis and evaluation. We not only provide you results, but we also provide insights and recommendations on what the results mean and how to improve or upgrade your current capabilities to be able to participate in additional industries and market segments.

                Let’s have a conversation! Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your reverse engineering initiatives!

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                  Permeation Testing Services – Fast & Affordable

                  ASTM, ISO, Physical and Analytical Testing

                  Permeation Testing Services – Fast & Affordable

                  Permeation testing is the process of analyzing a substrate to determine how much of a certain type of gas or liquid can pass through a substrate per unit time. Oftentimes our customers need to know how much of a liquid or gas will pass through a flexible packaging material in the design and development of their packaging products.

                   Primarily Flex-Pack Engineering provides the following permeation testing services:

                  MVTR Testing – Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing

                  Moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR) also known as water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) is the process of measuring the amount of water that can permeate through a polymer package film or membrane on a square meter basis in 24 hours. Flex-Pack Engineering has the experience and highly specialized instruments which MVTR by creating a moisture gradient from one side of the film to the other that allows the moisture to pass through the material and measure the permeation value. For more information on our MVTR Testing, check out our article “MVTR Testing – Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate Testing” in our Learning Center.

                  OTR Testing – Oxygen Transmission Rate Testing

                  Oxygen transmission rate (OTR) testing is the process of measuring the amount of oxygen that can pass through a polymer package film or membrane on a square meter basis in 24 hours. We measure OTR by placing 100% pure oxygen on one side of the film and 100% pure nitrogen on the other side of the film. As the oxygen molecules pass through the film, they are caught up in the nitrogen stream and swept off to a detector that counts the oxygen molecules and determines the volume (in CC’s) per unit time. For more information on our OTR Testing services, check out our article “OTR Testing – Oxygen Transmission Rate Testing” in our Learning Center.

                  Additionally, other types of permeation testing services Flex-Pack Engineering provide include CO2 testing, and ethylene testing.

                  Why Choose Flex-Pack Engineering for Permeation Testing Services?

                  In today’s fast-paced world, companies need testing results quickly. Flex-Pack has invested in state-of-the-art testing equipment infrastructure to expand our capabilities to provide test results quickly. We have multiple testing units available for permeation testing and can provide results faster than the industry standard. We reference and calibrate our permeation testing equipment to known and recognized standards provided by NIST; all our testing equipment is verified to be working properly before testing begins.

                  What truly sets Flex-Pack Engineering apart though is our 30-year education in the science and practice of flexible packaging development. We don’t simply provide permeation testing results; we offer insights and recommendations for our customers to help them interpret the test results and make better decisions to improve their flexible packaging products and processes.

                  Ready to have a conversation about our permeation testing services? Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help!

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                    DSC Testing

                    ASTM, ISO, Physical and Analytical Testing

                    DSC Testing

                    Differential scanning calorimetry testing also known as (DSC) Testing measures the crystalline content of a polymer or material. Materials that have crystalline content will have a phase change from solid to liquid or liquid to gas. This fully relaxed annealed melting point of a material is a unique property that is reproduceable and can be used for referencing.

                    Here at Flex-Pack Engineering we use DSC testing as a thermal analysis tool in conjunction with FTIR to look at the chemical composition of an organic material. We use DSC testing as part of our analysis and evaluation process for the following:

                    • To help solve a customer’s flexible packaging problem
                    • Competitive analysis, to help determine what makes a competitor’s package work so well
                    • Provide reverse engineering of flexible packaging products
                    • Product and process development of flexible packaging products
                    • OIT, Oxidation Induction Time Testing

                    DSC Testing is a very useful tool in the analysis of flexible packaging materials.

                    Flex-Pack Engineering Provides Fast and Reliable DSC Testing

                    At Flex-Pack Engineering we bring over 30 years of experience in our flexible packaging analysis and evaluation, and DSC testing is an important tool that we use in our workflow. We know how to use DSC testing to get the information our customers need to improve their packaging products.

                    Furthermore, we have invested in state-of-the-art DSC testing equipment to provide reliable results with better than industry standard turnaround times. All our testing equipment is calibrated to NIST traceable standards and verified to be working properly before testing begins.

                    While having the knowledge and equipment necessary to provide DSC testing is important, what benefits our customers the most is Flex-Pack’s extensive background and experience in flexible packaging product and process development. We not only provide you test results, but critical insights and recommendations on how to improve your packaging design, or production line operations. We offer very competitive pricing with exceptional turnaround time and friendly customer service to help you with all your flexible packaging requirements.

                    Let’s have a conversation! Contact us today at 330-704-9436 or fill out our request information form and learn how Flex-Pack Engineering can help with your DSC testing requirements today!

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