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Ansök senast: 2022-12-20

Thesis Project: Development of an oxygen barrier for food packaging application

Publicerad 2022-10-21


The theoretical and experimental work should aim at gaining knowledge about different coating materials and additives to create improved barrier dispersion coatings.



The research and development of barriers in the packaging industry is a rising topic. Plastics and littering are two big issues. There is ongoing research on how to minimize the use of plastics in food packaging. Paper or paperboard often does not offer the necessary protection without modification, for storing food and liquid. A potential solution to this problem is to apply a micrometre thin barrier on top of the paper or paperboard to provide the necessary protection needed. The goal is to replace thicker layers of plastics and/or aluminium with this thin barrier. The barrier still needs to offer similar properties to aluminium or plastic, while being thinner and have a smaller environmental footprint. A barrier can be made from a wide variety of materials like polymers, minerals, or graphene.

Different kinds of barrier solutions can be used to achieve protection against different compounds, such as water, fat, oxygen, or unhealthy mineral oils. Often, a good barrier against water is not a good barrier against oxygen and vice versa. Therefore, different types of barriers are used to protect against different types of compounds. A variety of different applications methods can be used to apply the barrier, from rod application and curtain coating to vacuum coating (e.g., PVD).



The main goal with this thesis is to help develop an improved oxygen barrier for food packaging application that could be used as a replacement for aluminium. The barrier will be a dispersion coating (chemicals dispersed in water) with rod application.



The project will involve the following activities:

  • Literature study of coating chemicals/additives to improve barrier properties of dispersion coatings.
  • Interview experienced people regarding the use of different chemicals/additives.
  • Create experimental plans for testing promising chemicals/additives.
  • Perform the experiments by preparing coating liquids, analysing the coating liquid for their rheological properties, and applying the coating on to samples.
  • Analyse the coated samples by measuring different barrier properties and inspecting them with optical microscope and scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Time plan 

The project preferably starts in early 2023. A detailed schedule will be defined together with the candidate.



The thesis project will be performed at our Product Innovation Center in Frövi. At this location, barrier research and development are conducted.


To be able to successfully contribute to this degree project, we believe that you are a master student in one of the following.

  • Chemical engineering/chemistry
  • Mechanical engineering/material science
  • Engineering physics/physics
  • Or equivalent

Bachelor students are also welcomed to apply.

To be able to carry out the practical part of the degree project, you need to be present in our laboratories in Frövi when necessary.

Personliga egenskaper

Our values are central to us and we believe that you, who are applying, will recognize yourself in our values: Place the customer in the center, dare to innovate, lead the change and care for each other.


William Apelqvist:

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