While there are numerous test methodologies that may be employed to assess leakage of a pouch or tray seal, there are circumstances in which such seals may have defects, but do not leak. Examples of such defects include inconsistent seals and areas of the seal in which the minimum seal width requirement is not met. In order to identify such defects, companies frequently rely on visual inspection. However, success of this method is dependent not only on the operator, but also on the transparency of the packaging materials.
Airborne ultrasound technology, as found in the PTI Seal-Scan, presents an alternative for seal quality assessment. Using a pair of transducers located on opposing sides of a seal, ultrasound is emitted and monitored for transmittance to the opposing transducer. Areas with poor seal quality typically have gas pockets, which reduce the amount of ultrasound passing through the seal area. On the other hand, introduction of foreign material into the seal area may increase overall transmittance of ultrasound between transducers. Thus, resulting signals are indicative of seal quality. Data may be presented quantitatively, but also in the form of a qualitative “Pass”, “Warn”, or “Fail” if method development is performed. Additionally, a digital image of the seal quality may be compiled from multiple scans.
In collaboration with PTI, Whitehouse Laboratories offers comprehensive method development and validation services, as well as routine testing of samples in a cGMP environment.