Multi-scale modelling of structure and mass transfer relationships in nano- and micro-composites for food packaging

Abstract : Despite the global growing interest in the food packaging field for the design of tailored composite structures with controlled mass transfer properties, the understanding of the modulation of the mass transfer properties with the incorporation of particles in polymer still remains very complex. In order to throw light on this scientific problem, the thesis work was focused on the following parts:- providing a better understanding of mass transfer in composites. In this purpose an analysis of all experimental gas and vapour permeability data available in the literature has been carried out in nano- and micro- composites and a comparison of these data with predictions from tortuosity models based on few geometrical inputs has been achieved;- performing a detailed study of water vapour mass transfer in composites (wheat straw fibres/bio-polyester). These data were compared with the prediction of bi-phasic analytical models coming from other disciplinary fields. This part of the work has highlighted the lack of comprehensive and complete models for the prediction of permeability in composite with permeable particles;- developing of an innovative multi-scale approach for the prediction of mass transfer in bi-phasic composites considering both the particle and the polymer matrix properties with realistic 2D geometry of the composite structures has been proposed. For the sake of reaching a satisfactory validation level of the model, some experimental improvements are still needed to increase the accuracy of input parameters such as diffusivity of the particles.This new modelling approach open the way for the creation of a reverse-engineering toolbox for the design of tailor made composites structures, tightly adjusted to barrier properties requirements of the packed food.
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Caroline Wolf. Multi-scale modelling of structure and mass transfer relationships in nano- and micro-composites for food packaging. Polymers. Université Montpellier II - Sciences et Techniques du Languedoc, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014MON20217⟩. ⟨tel-02178975⟩

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