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Instrumented Vs. Non-Instrumented Measurements for Water Vapor Transmission Rate Testing
Barrier properties often drive decisions on the selection of flexible polymer barrier materials for applications. One of the best ways to make key material decisions is to take the time to run industry accepted laboratory test approaches whenever possible. Choosing a technique can be difficult as it requires insight into the range of test procedures commonly used in the industry. When it comes to determining water vapor transmission rate, (WVTR) there are two common test techniques to consider:
The three major factors that influence water permeation are temperature, humidity and thickness. With that in mind, there are clear benefits to each method. In order to determine which method is the best, three factors should be considered: convenience, time and historical significance.
Instrumented and non-instrumented approaches to measuring water vapor transmission rate of films each have their merits. A greater awareness and understanding of the methods, coupled with the characteristics of your product and your priorities for the test, are the best way to determine appropriate approaches for each application.
*Please note that this test description is intentionally generic in nature and aimed at providing a descriptive summary to enhance test understanding. Standards can be obtained from appropriate standard authorities.
Kimberly Stuart is Marketing Manager for Plastics and Composites Services at Intertek. The creator of Testlopedia®, a free online encyclopedia of plastics and composites testing, she regularly presents webinars on testing for the building, medical, transportation and packaging industries. After receiving a BA in Business Management from Eckerd College, she attended the graduate program at UMASS Lowell for Plastics Engineering.