List of top seven materials used for packaging of products:- 1. Paper 2. Plastic 3. Nylon 4. Metal Foil 5. Glass-Wares 6. Metal Containers 7. Wood Containers.
Mainly two main types of papers are used.
(i) Coarse papers and
(ii) Fine papers.
Nearly all the papers used for packaging fall into the coarse paper classification. Fine papers are those which are used for writing, books, covers, bonds, ledgers etc. The strongest and most useful paper is made from softwood by the sulfate process.
Among various classifications of paper there are Glassine and Grease proof papers. These have high resistance to grease, fats and oils.
It is used for food packaging. Either the wax can be added in small amounts as a sizing in the paper making process or it can be applied to the finished as dry wax or a wet wax treatment.
Wax paper is one of the lowest cost moisture barriers and it offers good grease resistance and heat sealing characteristics as well, making it very useful for packaging such things as food, soap, tobacco and similar products.
It is used for making folding cartons.
A large part of the plastic is used as a packing material. It is used for manufacturing films, coatings, containers, closures, adhesives and so on.
The choice of plastics to be used for a particular application will be governed by a number of considerations.
1. The environmental conditions of packing, storage and shipment should be taken into account.
2. The material must have the physical characteristics to protect the contents against mechanical damage and against atmospheric conditions.
Next we must look at the form in which the material is required. If it is to be used as a wrapping material, it must be available as a film. For liquids or powders the container will require a secure closer, which can be obtained with bags, blown bottles, tubes etc. Plastics with various trade names are available in the market for packaging materials.
This is used for making folding cartons. It is made from cellulose acetate or polyvinyl chloride that has been properly plasticized.
These are very thin films of plastic and are widely used now-a-days, for packing purposes. Polythylene film is soft and flexible making it ideal for packaging soft goods and bakery products. The pleasant feel of the package is, a sale advantage. As a moisture barrier it is excellent.
It is better known as a fiber for woven or knitted fabrics than as a film. It is used by the army for packaging spare parts because of its resistance to puncture, abrasion, grease and solvents. Boil-in bag foods and gas or vacuum packed products can be put into nylon film.
4. Metal Foil:
Among the flexible packaging materials, a metal foils has the most outstanding position. It is the perfect barrier for moisture and gases, for super passing any paper of plastic material. It is widely used for packaging luxury items because of its glamorous appeal. It is fairly high in cost compared with other flexible materials but if the thinner gauges can be used, the cost will be brought down quite a bit.
Any rolled section of metal less than 15 mm in thickness. Metal foils are available in gauges from 0.0425 mm to 0.1475 mm in various tempers and surface finish. The maximum available width is 1650 mm.
Aluminium foils are used for capacitors in electronic industry. It is used in strip packaging of toilets and capsules. For most applications, it is usually laminated to paper both to reduce cost and to give it the stiffness and tensile strength necessary for handling on packaging machinery. Paper laminated foils are used for packaging cigarettes.
Glass-wares of different sizes are used for storing acids, chemicals, syrups, jams, medicines etc.
6. Metal Containers:
Tin cans, steel drums, pails etc. A large number of products are packed in metal containers. For example: beer, vegetables, fruits, miscellaneous foods and non-foods, dairy products, pet food, soft drinks, motor oil, meat and poultry, paint products, fish, antifreeze, baby food etc. Collapsible tubes are used for cosmetics, shaving cream, pharmaceuticals, household products etc.
7. Wood Containers:
Wood is one of the earliest packaging material and still very useful. It has an important place in industrial packaging for heavy or fragile items that require rigidity and strength.
The different types of packaging made from wood include baskets and hampers, tight and slack barrels, nailed wood boxes and crates wire bound boxes, pallets and skids etc. They are made from either lumber, veneer or plywood. The types of fasteners used include wire, nails, screws, staples and bands.