Permeation instruments are designed to measure the permeability, solubility, diffusivity and precise transmission rate of organic vapors or liquids through films, finished packages, fabrics, paper, pulp and other materials. Permeation instruments measure the rate of small amounts of particular substances as they pass through barrier materials, including plastics and other packaging materials.
Permeation instruments can be used to test how well packaging products contain specific compounds. Consequently, they are used extensively in the food and beverage industry, chemical and petrochemical manufacturing, and with other consumer products. Permeation instruments test products to ensure that they are suitable for storing and transporting without leaking or outgassing. Permeability is the measure of a material’s propensity for transmitting liquids or gases. Even barrier films and plastics have different levels of permeability, depending on the molecular structure of the barrier and the molecular structure and reactivity of the material being stored. Permeation instruments can also test packaging materials for transmission of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.
Permeation instruments are used to test the solubility and diffusivity of packaging materials. Since the quality and stability of these materials is critical in the storing of volatile or reactive chemicals, permeation instruments are useful for detecting any problems resulting from solubility. Diffusivity is the tendency of solutions or gases to equalize by spreading out through a medium. A permeation instrument can be used to determine that the solution is thoroughly mixed or incorporated.
Permeation instruments are similar in function to other gas and air instruments. They detect, monitor, and analyze any gases or vapor present in an environment. A permeation detector or monitor senses when the quantity or type of gas is beyond normal operating parameters and sounds an alarm. Gas and air analyzers provide a breakdown of the gases or vapors found, log the information, and can download it to a computer for further analysis and record keeping.