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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 31 No. 1, p. 358-361
     
    Received: Dec 18, 2000
    Published: Jan, 2002


    * Corresponding author(s): spapiernik@ussl.ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2134/jeq2002.3580

An Apparatus for Measuring the Gas Permeability of Films

  1. S. K. Papiernik *,
  2. F. F. Ernst and
  3. S. R. Yates
  1. USDA-ARS, George E. Brown Jr. Salinity Lab., 450 W. Big Springs Rd., Riverside, CA 92507-4617

Abstract

The gas permeability of plastic films is important in packaging, containment, and agricultural fumigation. Recently, an approach for estimating the mass transfer coefficient of vapors across a film was presented by Papiernik et al. (2001) The mass transfer coefficient is an intrinsic property of a film–chemical combination, independent of the concentration gradient maintained across the film. Here we describe an apparatus useful for obtaining permeability data; the model of Papiernik et al. (2001) may be fitted to the data to determine mass transfer coefficients. The assembled equipment provides a sealed permeability cell, where a sample of the film to be tested is sandwiched between two static half-cells. Vapor is spiked to one side of the film and the concentrations in the spiked and receiving chamber are monitored until equilibrium. A sealed system is required for this approach; the permeability cells described here were gas-tight for >40 d. This approach produces reproducible measures of mass transfer coefficients that are not dependent on the size of the experimental apparatus. Model parameters were similar when fitted simultaneously as when determined independently from the same data set.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.31:358–361.