NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-2 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) 769-9450

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

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 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. In Phase I, flexible polymer barriers with an oxygen transport rate of <0.005 cc/m2-day and water transport rate of <0.005 g/m2-day were developed. The barriers contain no metal foils, have a areal density of <34 g/m2 for a 40 micron thick film, and tolerate high temperature sterilization treatments. The polymer laminates are mechanically robust exhibiting a 165MPa yield strength, 200MPa tensile strength, 550MPa tensile modulus, and 3% elongation to yield. In Phase II, we propose to optimize barrier properties to reduce weight, minimize ash on incineration, develop heat-sealing methods, and expand the testing to include heat sealed enclosures. The Phase II effort also includes a collaboration with a potential high-volume manufacturer of the barrier films for aerospace applications.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The specific NASA applications for the proposed barrier polymers are the following:

· food packaging for long-duration space missions;
· packaging for medicines on long-duration space missions;
· packaging of air and moisture sensitive chemicals used in science
exploration on long-duration missions;
· packaging of astronaut physiological samples;
· packaging of extraterrestrial materials for return to earth.

All these applications will benefit from the availability of a lightweight, high-strength flexible packaging material. Besides having exceptional barrier properties, the proposed barrier polymers have several other features that are important to these NASA applications including: 1) transparency to allow inspection and identification of package contents; 2) an internal surface to which biocompatible and non-thrombogenic coatings can be added; and 3) a low temperature heat sealing capability that allows astronauts in space to create sealed packages that exclude water and oxygen and also prevent bacteriological and viral contamination.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-Nasa commercial applications in both the private and Government sectors have been identified. These applications included:

· meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) packaging for the military
· electronics packaging
· flexible packaging for primary and secondary lithium, ion batteries
· packaging of battlefield medical supplies for treating trauma (e.g.
biologically active hemostatic agents
· very long storage of food and medicines in rapid response materiel caches
· packaging emergency supplies at remote locations.

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 08-03-09 13:26