The half a million pound project is focused on improving the ‘form-fill and seal’ type of packaging used for foods such as rice, pasta and crisps. By designing a more efficient way of sealing the packaging, the researchers hope to reduce the amount of material used by 13%, which would lead to a saving of more than 39,000 tonnes per year of landfill waste.
Dr Ben Hicks, Professor Glen Mullineux, and Dr Jason Matthews from the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering are working as part of a consortium including Campden BRI, HayssenSandiacre Europe, Amcor Flexibles Food and United Biscuits on the two-year project that is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
They will examine the process used to mechanically fill and seal the packaging and then use this information to design a new packing machine that uses less plastic and can use recycled materials.
Dr Ben Hicks, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the University’s Innovative Design Manufacturing Research Centre (IdMRC), said: “Projects such as this are fundamental to the consumer goods industry if it is to meet the challenge of sustainability.
“In the area of consumer packaging, ever-tightening legislation is forcing goods manufacturers to reduce material consumption and reduce the environmental impact of their finished product.
“To meet such targets there is a need for manufacturers to maximise the efficiency of existing equipment, minimise material consumption and use thinner, lighter-weight, recyclable and recycled materials.
“The project brings together a diverse mix of industrial and academic research partners, combining both theoretical and practical studies to tackle this challenge.
“The project is building on the theoretical and modelling expertise of the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and using the materials and packaging testing facilities of Campden BRI to try out the new system.
“The scientific knowledge base is further enhanced by the materials processing knowledge of Amcor, the practical experience of consumer goods packaging from United Biscuits and the machinery design knowledge of HayssenSandiacre.”
In addition to reducing the amount of plastic used in the packaging, the research team are also investigating new sealing processes that can be used with the latest biodegradable materials, which will lead to further environmental benefits.
Press Team | alfa
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.04.2017 | Materials Sciences