Published: February 1986
Barrier resins are plastics used for packaging that prevent gas (oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen), vapor (water or solvent), or liquid penetration. Commercial polymers such as nylons, polyvinyl chloride, polyolefins, and polystyrene are also used for packaging, but their barrier properties are significantly inferior to those of the barrier resins. Special barrier materials such as those used for radon in uranium mines are usually not considered barrier resins and are not discussed here.
This report evaluates the technology and economics for three kinds of commercial barrier resins: vinylidene chloride copolymers, nitrile resins, and ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers. The manufacture of vinylidene chloride monomer is also evaluated. Blow-molding and thermo- forming processes for making multilayer containers containing a barrier resin layer are described and evaluated. Union Carbide's and Air Products' surface fluorination processes, which result in a barrier to solvent permeation but not to gas permeation, are also evaluated and compared.
Parts of this report can be considered as updates of PEP Report 105 (vinylidene chloride and polyvinylidene chloride) and Report 78 (acrylonitrile thermoplastics).