Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer

Ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) is a crystalline copolymer of ethylene (usually between 27 and 48%) and vinyl alcohol, and its properties are highly dependent on the relative concentrations of these comonomers. EVOH is best known for its exceptionally good oxygen-barrier properties, even compared to PVDC. The oxygen barrier increases with decreasing ethylene concentration and decreasing relative humidity. EVOH also has good resistance to hydrocarbons and organic solvents. EVOH is the most expensive of all commonly used food-packaging polymers (8).

EVOH is mostly used as an oxygen-barrier layer in multilayer structures, either laminated or coextruded. The multilayer structures containing EVOH are used as films or containers for packaging oxygen-sensitive foods. An example of a multilayer structure is PP/adhesive/EVOH/ adhesive/PP, where the PP layers provide strength and a moisture barrier and the EVOH layer provides the oxygen barrier. This multilayer structure is suitable for hot filling and retorting applications.

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