NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 X12.02-9041
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Food Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Flexible High-Barrier Polymers for Food Packaging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
EIC Laboratories, Inc.
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062 - 2612
(781) 469-9450

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stuart F. Cogan
111 Downey Street
Norwood, MA 02062 - 2612
(781) 769-9450

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
The development of a polymer laminate with water and oxygen barrier properties suitable for food packaging and preservation on 3-5 year manned space exploration missions is proposed. The laminate is a multilayer structure comprising polymer and inorganic dielectrics that will provide near-hermetic encapsulation of food items for the duration of these missions. The properties and expected benefits of the multilayer packaging include: oxygen transport rate of <<0.005 cc/m2-day; water transport rate of <<0.005 g/m2-day; suitable for retort, microwave, and high pressure sterilization (>135oC); specific weight <40 g/m2 for a 34 micron thick laminate meeting H2O and O2 permeation goals; inorganic content of <2.4 g/m2; contains no metal foils; and, a higher strength-to-weight ratio than current barrier materials, providing a thin high-strength laminate with sufficient ductility for packaging and sealing operations. In Phase I, polymer laminates will be fabricated and characterized by oxygen and water permeation tests to demonstrate barrier properties. Mechanical and accelerated testing, using steam sterilization and high-temperature water immersion, will be included to demonstrate the suitability of the laminate for packaging applications. In Phase II, the manufacturing process would be scaled-up and methods for forming packages, vacuum and inert gas packaging; and heat sealing addressed.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercialization of the technology is anticipated through a combination of direct sales and licensing. The specific NASA applications for the proposed barrier polymer laminates include: food packaging for long-duration space missions; packaging for medicines; packaging air and moisture sensitive chemicals used in science exploration on long-duration missions; packaging of astronaut physiological samples; packaging of extraterrestrial materials for return.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
For the more price-sensitive commercial market the proposed barrier polymers will be used for packaging high-value products that include: medicines; emergency supplies at remote locations; and physiological samples. Applications in OLEDs and for other display applications, or solar modules are also possible and present a significant opportunity if cost and optical performance requirements are met.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Biomedical and Life Support

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56