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Proposed ASTM Standard Will Aid in Testing Water Vapor Transmission in Packaging


ASTM International Committee F02 on Flexible Barrier Packaging is developing a new standard to test the transmission rate of water vapor into packaging materials. Understanding water transmission rate is a key component for the shelf life of many products.

“The materials and packages covered by this standard affect nearly every package one sees in grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals,” says ASTM member Joel Fischer, laboratory manager, MOCON.
The proposed standard (WK49124, Test Method for Water Vapor Transmission Rate through Packages Using a Modulated Infrared Sensor) is based on another ASTM standard (F1249) that measures water vapor through plastic film and sheeting with a pressure modulated infrared detector.

“This detector lends itself well to testing whole packages, including bottles with closures, sealed pouches, tubing and small blister cards,” notes Fisher. Many people have used the instruments in F1249 for packaging testing due to faster analysis and greater sensitivity. This led to a need for a standard that used the techniques described in F1249, but with a focus on packaging.

The proposed standard is being developed by the Subcommittee on Permeation (F02.10), part of Committee F02. The subcommittee has developed other methods that cover a range of materials, including geomembrane, building materials, electronics and breathable barriers. All interested parties are invited to join in the standards developing activities of the subcommittee.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

For more news in this sector, visit

ASTM Committee F02 Next Meeting: Oct. 28-29, 2015, October Committee Week, Tampa, Fla.
Media Inquiries: Nathan Osburn, tel +1.610.832.9603;
Technical Contact: Joel Fischer, MOCON Laboratory, tel +1.763.493.7219;
ASTM Staff Contact: Diane Lake, tel +1.610.832.9661;

Release #9822




May 13, 2015

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