NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: B3.07-8999 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 013000 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
New High-Barrier Polymer Nanocomposite Food Packaging Enables 5-Year Shelf-Life

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Triton Systems will help enable NASA exploration class missions such as those to Mars by developing an extended shelf-life food packaging system using our highly advanced polymeric nanocomposite materials. Triton?s new single- and multi-layer polymer films will be capable of sustaining thermostabilized, rehydratable, natural state, and intermediate moisture foods for at least three to five years in space storage conditions. These new materials include EVOH-, polyethylene- and PET-layered-silicate nanocomposites with at least 2 and 3 times improvement in barrier to diffusing species at various humidity levels. In the Phase I effort, Triton proposes to fabricate and test four configurations of these optimized, high-barrier materials. By dramatically reducing the amount of necessary packaging material, these lightweight thermoplastic nanocomposites can reduce weight and waste by half. The polymers remain flexible, thin and lightweight as low-levels of nano-dispersed inorganic material provide maximum barrier, retaining fresh, palatable food for longer periods of time and compatible for use with microwave, hot-plate convection ovens, and hot water-injection pouches. These materials are readily recyclable. The Phase II effort will fabricate multi-processed prototype packaging for evaluation. On a Phase III Program, Triton, with a Tier-1 NASA vendor, will produce food-packaging systems for use in future exploration class missions.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
Triton has successfully scaled-up polymer nanocomposite food packaging tray samples for use by the Army through REXAM Containers. This accomplishment has also attracted commercial attention from major food, beverage, health and beauty supply packagers in the US and abroad. The nanocomposite materials remain as flexible, recyclable, and versatile as virgin resin counterparts and in addition provide maximum barrier under varying humidity conditions. High-barrier properties result from the orientation of nano-scale, layered inorganic platelets in very low-additive percentages. Since these effects can be seen at very low loading levels of layered-silicate organoclays, the approach is highly cost-effective. The nanocomposite structure enables unparalleled reductions in wall-thickness for bottles, pouches and thermoformed or injection-molded trays. This results directly in lower shipping, processing, and materials costs

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Meredith Rose
Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford , MA   01824 - 4053

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road
Chelmsford , MA   01824 - 4053


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44