Date of Award

Summer 8-18-2023

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


Douglas W. Bousfield

Second Committee Member

William J. DeSisto

Third Committee Member

Lisa Weeks


Packaging is an important and safe way to protect our food and other things through transportation, but the use of plastic based packaging is causing issues with plastic pollution. To replace plastic packaging with a paper-based option that has a barrier coating, good heat sealing will be needed to be a drop-in replacement. While much as been studied on the heat sealing of polymer layers, little has been reported around the heat sealing of paper that has a polymeric barrier coating.

Experiments were conducted to characterize the thermal conductivity and heat capacity of paper as a function of press pressure and paper thickness which provided parameters for the model for validation. A simple method to measure both the heat capacity and thermal conductivity was developed. Layers of paper were used to slow the response time of a thermal probe to obtain thermal conductivity as a function of press pressure. Values are reported for four different papers. A hot press was used to laminate polyethylene film to paper to determine the time and temperature needed to form a bond between surfaces. In addition, modeling of a time-dependent heat transfer process based on a finite element method was presented that shows the interaction of paper properties with the process parameters as time progresses. A simple expression was developed to predict the time and temperature needed to heat seal paper layers as a function paper properties and the polymer melting point.