Seeking: Materials or processes that form mesh-based sheets/films/fabrics with high optical clarity and low haze
We seek cost-effective materials or process technologies that will form mesh-based sheets/films/fabrics exhibiting high optical clarity and low haze. Water diffusion into the sheets and overall feel (soft, flexible not hard plastic-like) of the formed sheets are required criteria.
The sheet/film/fabrics may be made from new materials or use existing known materials formed via a novel cost effective process. Processes that convert optical/barrier/textural properties of already formed sheets/films/fabrics are also of high interest.
High optical clarity and low haze in thin films/sheets is a property desired in a number of applications. These range from food packaging where freshness and quality of the food can be better perceived to wound dressings which allow better visualization of the wound to follow the healing process.
There are materials that provide the required optical clarity and other required barrier properties, but for which the sheet– or fabric-making process can itself make the overall cost too high. An example is woven PET (Polyethylene Terapthalate), where the required optical clarity is good, but the woven process is slow and expensive. In this Tech Need we seek cost effective mesh like sheets/films/fabrics with high optical clarity and low haze equivalent to woven PET but at lower cost.
The resulting sheet/film/fabric will be evaluated based on:
- Optical clarity and low haze. Visual inspection and high light transmission levels (e.g. >60%) being an indication of this.
- Cost effectiveness of production (material and process).
- Ability to be processed in current machines.
- Water diffusion.
The following are constraints for the formed sheets/films/fabrics which are formed by the material and/or process:
- It should be flexible and have a soft feel, not hard/crispy/plastic feel.
- It should have a pore/mesh size not greater than 200 microns, with 100 being desirable.
- The material must be food-grade.
- It is desirable that the material is thermally stable up to 105 C.
The field of use will be in the foods industrial sector with the intended application being in food packaging. It should be noted that although the intended application is in food packaging we are seeking solutions from all industrial sectors.
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