Roll-to-Roll, Dual-Layer Slot Die Coating of Chitin and Cellulose Oxygen Barrier Films for Renewable Packaging

Kwangiun Jung, Yue Ji, Tae-joong Jeong, Peter Ciesielski, J. Meredith, Tequila Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Cellulose and chitin are the two most abundant naturally produced biopolymers and are being extensively studied as candidates for renewable oxygen barrier films used in packaging. It has been shown that bilayers formed from cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) and chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) exhibit oxygen barrier properties similar to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). However, this prior work explored only coating each layer individually in sequence through techniques such as spray coating. Here, we demonstrate the viability of dual-layer slot die coating of CNC/ChNF bilayers onto cellulose acetate (CA) substrates. The dual-layer slot die method enables significantly lower oxygen permeability versus spray coating while using a roll-to-roll system that applies the bilayer in a single pass. This work discusses suspension properties, wetting, and drying conditions required to achieve well-controlled ChNF/CNC bilayers. Spray-coated bilayer films were on average 25% thinner than the dual-layer bilayer film; however, the thickness-normalized oxygen permeability (OP) of the dual-layer-coated ChNF/CNC bilayer film on CA was 20 times better than that of the spray-coated bilayers. It has been shown that ChNF contributes to the wetting and barrier properties. Values of OP for the slot die-coated bilayers under optimized drying conditions were as low as 1.2 cm3·μm·m-2·d-1·kPa-1, corresponding to a normalized oxygen transmission rate of 0.32 cm3·m-2·d-1 at 23 °C and 50% relative humidity. It is also noted that the adhesive properties of the dual-layer coating are also improved when films are air-dried and that ChNF contributes to the wetting and barrier properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)44922-44932
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume14
Issue number39
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-2800-83990

Keywords

  • cellulose nanocrystal
  • chitin nanofiber
  • oxygen permeability
  • renewable packaging
  • Roll-to-roll dual-layer slot die coating

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