The Functional Film Blog sat down with members of DUNMORE’s product development and technical team. We asked questions related to the past, present, and future of film technology and how film materials have played a disruptive role. The following interview is with DUNMORE’s lead research scientist.
Where do you see film materials being used more frequently in the future?
There are many areas that will adapt film materials to reduce weight. You see films being used more and more for housing and construction. They have been used before, but it is increasing more and more. Glass and metal tend to be heavy, so if you can get similar durability by substituting fully or part of the structure with plastic, that definitely offers an advantage.
In the automobile industry there is a trend toward using lighter weight composites. Films are used as the skin material or the support material in composite structures. The demand to get better mileage out of a vehicle means automobile manufactures will have to reduce their weight and increase the use of composites.
What trends in film technology/chemistries excites you about working on new projects?
Printed electronics springs to my mind. The technology is still in the infancy stage, but I could see where other technologies and new applications utilize printed electronics in the next few years. There is also a new material that was invented relatively recently; Graphene, which is another form of carbon would have an application in printed electronics.
Are there applications for film technology not being used today that could benefit from film materials?
Edible films have been discussed before, materials like starch or gelatin and even fruits and vegetables can be made into a film. Edible films applied as the outer wrapping or primary packaging for food items could reduce both industrial and food waste. Moreover, these films can be used during food preparation to enhance flavor.