Foam Packaging Alternative

- January 11, 2018 -

Coldpack developed the AirLiner, an inflatable, thermally insulated pouch, as a cost-effective, space-saving foam packaging alternative for shipping temperature-sensitive products.

The pouch uses Dow Surlyn®, DuPont™ Nucrel®, and Dow Bynel® resins to keep heat out, and package contents cool. Because it is inflatable, the pouch can be stored flat, needing only 4% of the warehouse space required by foam packaging. The AirLiner is also lighter than foam packaging, which helps reduce shipping costs.

The Challenge

Coldpack wanted to meet growing demand for a foam packaging alternative that was less bulky and expensive than commonly used polystyrene insulation material.

This new packaging solution had to be lightweight, less costly, yet also maintain the “cold chain” for shipped perishables, such as fresh produce, meats, seafood,frozen desserts, and pharmaceuticals.

The Solution

Dow packaging technical specialists helped Coldpack perfect the AirLiner, a unique, inflatable, compartmentalized, metallized pouch structure that uses Surlyn® ionomer resin as a sealant, Nucrel® ethylene acrylic acid copolymer resin for foil adhesion, and Bynel® adhesive resin as a tie layer for the multilayered structure.

The AirLiner is made of HDPE and LDPE inner and outer poly films, with interior baffle films made from metallized poly film. Its inflatable insulating liner converts into a cooler. Stored flat (uninflated), the AirLinerpouch saves space. When inflated with air or gas, the insulated pack is ready in a few seconds and, depending on the product it is holding, can be re-used several times. The inflated, pillow-like pouch structure also adds product cushioning.

The combined sealing, adhesion, and barrier properties of the Dow resins give the AirLiner a very low conductive rateand inhibit heat flow through an internal radiant barrier technology. Unlike other insulation materials, such as polystyrene, polyurethane, and high-density fiberglass, which rely upon their solid masses to restrict heat flow, the AirLiner’s mass consists mainly of the air or gas used for inflation. 

Key Advantages

As a foam packaging alternative, the AirLiner offers advantages, including:

  • Superior insulation:The AirLiner performs better in independent testing* than traditional foam packaging, keeping products cool several hours longer.
  • Reduced shipping costs: Dow resins make the AirLiner light-weight, which helps reduce shipping costs.
  • Reduced warehouse costs:Because it can be stored flat, the AirLiner occupies only 4% of the space required by foam boxes, allowing for significant savings in warehouse space. 
  • Protective cushioning:The inflated baffle design absorbs shock from rough handling, and does not crack on impact.
  • Environmentally friendly:Depending on what it contains, the AirLiner can be reused several times, while dramatically helping reduce EPS foam packaging landfill waste.

The AirLiner is a cost-effective, light-weight foam packaging alternative used to ship perishables worldwide.

*ASTM C-518