Permeability tests to oxygen and water vapour through packaging

The barrier properties of packaging are key to preserving foodstuffs, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, etc. These properties are determined by the transmission rate of a gas through a material. The gases that most affect the shelf life of packaged products are oxygen and water vapour.

The permeability tests performed by AMPLAS enable the measuring of the Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) and the Water Vapour Transmission Rate (WVTR) to guarantee the barrier control in rigid and flexible packaging.

Tests conditions

The selection of the test conditions is crucial, since the result is very different depending on the temperature and moisture, and selection must be carried out keeping in mind the predicted storage conditions of the products. To determine the transmission rate of a material to a particular gas, we can use several methods. The most used in food packaging applications, where high sensitivity is required and it is more common that low permeability needs to be determined, are those that use specific sensors. In other words, the used sensor only allows the detection of molecules of the gas that is being measured, without interfering with the rest of the gases present in the environment.

OTR and WVTR test

Permeability tests performed by AIMPLAS

  • Oxygen Gas Transmission Rate Through Plastic Film and Sheeting (ASTM D3985 and ASTM F1927).
  • Oxygen Transmission Rate of Rigid and Semi-Rigid Packaging (ASTM F 1307).
  • Water Vapor Transmission Rate Through Plastic Film and Sheeting (ASTM F1249).
  • Water Vapor Transmission Rate of Rigid and Semi-Rigid Packaging (internal procedure based on ASTM F1307 and USP 671).
  • Performance of permeability tests to other gases on demand.

AIMPLAS has a test laboratory accredited by ENAC (No. 56/LE156) according to the UNE-EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard and it is the Spanish centre with the highest number of accreditations for plastics.


AIMPLAS’ laboratory has a wide experience in the performance of these tests and is one of the two Spanish laboratories accredited by ENAC according to the ASTM D3985, ASTM F1927 and ATM F1249.

We have cutting-edge equipment to analyse permeability. This makes our laboratory one of the few permeability test laboratories in Spain to have this technology, thanks to which analysis times have been reduced by up to four times.

Moreover, we have a qualified team of experts in permeability analysis who turn the service into a global consultancy.

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Rosalía Guerra

Rosalía Guerra

Laboratory Director