cod. 1003951

Academic year 2019/20
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Scienza e tecnologia dei materiali (ING-IND/22)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
24 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Integrated course unit module: MATERIALS

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the course, the student will acquire the basic knowledge relating to the expertise in the activities of testing and characterization of packaging raw material and packaging object.

Applying knowledge and understanding
The student will be able to make proper choices in the selection of the many packaging options available today. The students will be able to use the acquired knowledge to analyze and process numerical data to support their decision-making.

Making judgements
On passing the exam, the student will develop the ability to critically evaluate the analytical data of the mechanical behavior of a packaging material to predict its behavior in work, as well as the ability to interpret the data of the controls.

Communication skills
On passing the exam, the student should acquire sufficient language property, at least as regards the technical and chemical terminology specific of the course.

Learning skills
Students who take the course will be able to deepen their knowledge in the field of materials for food packaging, by consulting on their own specialized texts or dissemination journals, even outside of the topics covered closely in class. Any final seminars will aim to introduce students to the latest developments in terms of research in the field of materials applied to food packaging: the student should acquire the knowledge and basic skills of the discipline to deal with, in the future, a deepening independent of these aspects.


Knowledge of Chemistry and Technology of Applied Chemistry are useful bases for the operation of the course.

Course unit content

INTRODUCTION. Terminology. Purpose and characteristics of packaging.
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES. Chemical structure, characteristics and
resistance of materials.
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES. Thermal properties. Optical properties. The
behavior of a material to ionizing radiation. The behavior of a material
exposed to microwaves. Mechanical properties.
PACKAGING MATERIALS. Glass. Ceramics and other crockery. Metals.
Aluminum. Tinplate and other coated steels. Stainless steel. Corrosion of
metals. Cellulosic materials. Paper and paperboard. Cellophane -
Regenerated cellulose. Plastics.

Full programme

Chemical properties of packaging materials. Chemical structure and characteristics of the materials. Atomic constituents. Bonds between atoms. Molecular bonds. Molecular organization. Chemical properties of interest to the packaging materials. Resistance to oils and fats. Environmental stress cracking resistance. Burning behavior. Biodegradation, biodeterioration, biotoxicity, biofilm formation. Physical properties of packaging materials: surface properties, thermal, mechanical and electromagnetic. Surface properties. Surface tension, wettability and adhesion. Methods of measurement of surface properties. Relationship between contact angle and surface energy. Modification of the surface energy. Thermal properties. Thermal conductivity. Heat capacity and specific heat. Coefficients of thermal expansion. Useful temperature range (range of use). Calorific value and energy content. Transition temperatures. Mechanical properties. Creep resistance (friction). Mechanical strength. Properties related to dynamic stress. Shock absorption properties (cushioning properties). Electromagnetic properties. Interactions between electromagnetic radiation and matter. Electromagnetic properties of the packaging materials in the visible and ultraviolet regions. Behavior of a material subjected to ionizing radiation. Behavior of a material irradiated with microwaves. Density and related properties. Density. Weight. Glass and glass packaging. Chemical structure of the glass. Production of glass. Physical and chemical properties of the glass. Mechanical properties. Thermal properties. Optical properties. Chemical reactivity. Technology of production of glass containers. Press-blow technique. Blow-blow technique. Annealing. Quality Control. Reinforcement techniques of glass containers. Ceramics. Metals and metal packaging. Aluminum. Production and characteristics of aluminum alloys. Technology of production of manufactured of aluminum. Tinplate and other coated steels. Production of steel and their characteristics. Structure, properties and manufacture of tinplate. Structure, properties and production of chrome strip. Other coated steels. Stainless steels. Metal containers. Deformable tubes. Aerosol containers. Kegs (barrels) in stainless steel. Drums and barrels. Jars and canisters. Interior protective coatings. Corrosion of metals. Cellulosic materials and packaging. Morphological structure of cellulose fibers. Chemical structure of the cellulose fibers. Lignin. Hemicelluloses. Cellulose. Paper and cardboard. Raw materials for the production of paper and paperboard. Production technologies. Additives used in the production of paper and board. Special papers. Paper properties. Corrugated cardboard. Stiff cardboard. Coated Board. Cellulose modeled. Cellulose pulp. Cellophane. Regenerated cellulose. Envelopes and paper bags. Folding boxes. Corrugated cardboard boxes. Materials and plastic packaging. Structure and properties of plastics. Nature of raw materials. Polymerization mechanism. Tacticity. Molecular weight. Reaction to heat. Glass transition temperature. Morphology. Structural organization. Polymer blends and polymer alloys. Structural changes in the plastics industry. Orientation. Shrinking. Main polymers used in food packaging. Most common polymers. Polymers sealing. Polymers with high gas barrier. Less common polymers. Symbols and abbreviations of polymers and some of their characteristics. Packaging materials and plastic packaging. Additives of plastics. Films or films. Trays and hollow injection molded. Thermoformed trays and hollow bodies. Bottles and plastic bottles. Foamed plastics.


Reccomended book:
Luciano Piergiovanni, Sara Limbo "Food packaging. Materiali, tecnologie e qualità degli alimenti". Springer-Verlag Italia, 2010.

Additional book:
G. L. Robertson “Food Packaging ans Shelf life: A practical Guide”. CRC Press / Taylor & Francis Group, 2009.

Teaching methods

Lectures with the aid of Power Point. Educational visits (in case of Companies availability).

Assessment methods and criteria

Written examination which consists of 5 questions to each of which are assigned up to 6 points. Students who gained at least 18/30 in the written examination may apply to take an oral supplementation.

Other information

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