Trade Resources Industry Views TBF Has Made Nano-Technology One of Its Fortes

TBF Has Made Nano-Technology One of Its Fortes

Tera-Barrier Films (TBF) has made nano-technology one of its fortes. Patently, invention is another. The spin-off company from A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering's (IMRE) has invented a new plastic that creates an air and moisture barrier about 10 times better than the transparent oxide barriers which are currently being used to package food and medicines. This attribute is due to its uniquely encapsulated nanoparticle layer.

TBF's 700nm encapsulated nanoparticle barrier films are thinner than a strand of human hair. This gives them high level transparency and makes them also stretchable. These features give them an edge over aluminium-based packaging material, which comes at a higher processing cost, is opaque, non-stretchable, and interferes with electronics, making the integration of components like RFID devices difficult.

The TBF films will allow see-through packaging and a longer shelf-life for a wide range of products including high-end electronics, pharmaceuticals, food and other perishable goods.

How is this achieved? Conventional multilayer barrier plastics have successive layers of barrier plastic films to enhance the impermeability to air and moisture but they have not achieved higher barrier properties. TBF's film uses minimal layers. Its encapsulated nanoparticles increase the packing density of nanoparticles, which makes it extremely difficult for water and oxygen molecules to pass through the film. The encapsulated nanoparticles also actively adsorb and react with water and oxygen molecules to trap them. Minimal moisture and air can pass through this film.

"The University of Tokyo confirmed TBF's barrier film performance at 10-6g/m2/day," said Masayuki Nakazawa, managing director, KISCO (Asia) Pte. Ltd. "There has been very favourable response from our potential customers in a spectrum of industries wishing to benefit by incorporating TBF's superior barrier films into their products, these applications range from food and medical packaging to high end PV, lighting and display sectors where TBF's barrier films excel."

TBF was recently recognised by leading Global Growth consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan as the 2013 Global Next Generation Technology Company of the Year in the field of Barrier Films due to its novel approach of developing innovative technology involving barrier films.

Fewer barrier layers, lower costs, access to newer applications like Quantum dot colour filters, and Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIPs) have helped TBF to open up opportunities in the barrier films market. Expanding into food and medical packaging is the most recent.

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The Future of Long Shelf-Life Film Just Became Completely Clear