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How to Reduce Pharma Packaging Costs: Choose Lid Foils With The Right Aluminum Thickness


How to Reduce Pharma Packaging Costs: Choose Lid Foils With The Right Aluminum Thickness

Most of the raw materials used in pharmaceutical packaging are made of aluminum foil, which is also the first choice for pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers. The use of medicinal foil packaging has many advantages, such as good barrier performance, being lightweight and portable, can be printed on the surface, and medicines can be packaged separately. However, this material also has some obvious problems, one of which is the high cost.

Blister packs are well known to have a lid foil, which forms the skeleton of a typical blister pack, with thicknesses ranging from 0.36-0.76 mm, with 0.46-0.61 mm being the most common preferred range, blister without lid foil is not perfect Blister pack. Conventional pharmaceutical packaging varies depending on the scenario used, the most commonly used lidding foils are duralumin (for push-through blisters), soft aluminium (for child-safe push-through blisters), paper/aluminum and paper /PET/Aluminum (for peel-through push-through blisters).

aluminum foil blister

Depending on the country and region, the thickness of the lidding foil will vary. With the exception of the United States, most countries use a cover foil of 20 µm aluminum, while Japan uses 17 µm aluminum. In Europe, 20 µm (0.5/m 2 ) and 25 µm (0.4/m 2 ) foils have almost similar maximum pinholes per square meter without affecting the barrier properties of the sealing blister. Judging from the thickness of lidding foils used in these countries, the use of lidding foils with smaller thicknesses can relatively save lidding foil material, and the highest material savings can be as high as 21.8%.

Similar to cold-formed aluminum foil, the thickness of the lidding foil affects the cost to a certain extent, but the barrier properties of the lidding foil are not affected by the thickness. Therefore, the use of thinner aluminum lidding foils provides another opportunity to reduce overall blister pharmaceutical packaging costs without compromising final pharmaceutical packaging performance.

A study by HWPFP (Huawei Pharma Foil Packaging) showed that when producing blisters of 60 × 95 mm at a rate of 4 blisters/cycle (40 cycles/min; reel weight = 14 kg) during production, Converting from 25-micron to 20-micron aluminum resulted in more than 7,040 blisters. Additionally, the time required to replace the reel increased by 44 minutes. No differences were found between the 20 and 25 µm foils in terms of seal strength, heat resistance and printing ink abrasion resistance. Conversely, it has been found that increasing the thickness of aluminum increases the burst pressure and thrust force, in which case production costs can be reduced to a certain extent by appropriately using thinner aluminum foils.

In short, while satisfying the quality assurance of pharmaceutical packaging, choosing the most suitable thickness of pharmaceutical packaging for the product in production can achieve the greatest cost-benefit.

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