Putting a Lid on Ceramic Packaging Sealing Problems

Les Poteries Malicornaises (LPM), a French ceramic packaging manufacturer, developed a process in partnership with DuPont and Soplaril that makes it possible, for the very first time, to seal ceramic lids effectively and with total reliability using DuPont™ Nucrel®. This opens new packaging options for manufacturers of ready-to-eat meals, seafood and delicatessen products.

The Challenge

To grow its market for ceramic packaging, LPM wanted to find a way to ensure excellent sealing of polyamide-based films onto ceramic, a material known for being difficult to seal due to its surface texture and hardness.

The Solution

Working with DuPont and Soplaril, a packaging converter, LPM developed a process for coating DuPont™ Nucrel® ethylene acrylic acid copolymer resin onto ceramic substrates, thus creating a surface which allows the use of lidding films for food containers.

LPM adapted the technology of the ceramic seal surface so that it can be smoothed and combined with Nucrel® to provide optimal sealing with a variety of Soplaril film configurations, including polyamide/Nucrel® and polyester/aluminum/Nucrel® films.

These Nucrel® film configurations can be used in applications including vacuum lidding for use before and after cooking and high barrier/light tight/modified atmosphere packaging.

By avoiding the use of lacquers, Nucrel® provides a strong bond of the seal layer to the ceramic. It also displays long-lasting durability as well as being able to withstand cooking temperatures. Moreover, Nucrel® can seal through contamination, making it possible to seal the container even when the lid is slightly soiled with fat.

Key Advantages

Nucrel® for ceramic packaging offers many advantages to food manufacturers and consumers:

  • Cost-efficient: The process involves no lacquers and it allows manufacturers to move away from potentially expensive options, such as shrink-bags or high-thickness thermoformed lids.
  • Easy-peel convenience: The lidding can be produced in an easy-peel format.
  • Microwave-safe: Nucrel® allows for heating in microwave ovens.
  • Consumer-friendly: Nucrel® makes ceramic lidding aesthetically pleasing, hygienic, and safe.
  • Expanded retail opportunity: Food products can be packaged in different container sizes from large to single-serve and with special designs.

Based in Malicorne, some 30 kilometers from Le Mans, the Poteries Malicornaises company designs and manufactures a wide range of enameled and silkscreen decorated ceramic packaging in various shapes and sizes ranging from 250 g to 3.5 liters. The company's design department can create customized containers meeting the customer's marketing and technical demands for each specific application.