Preventing premature failure of tamper-evident seals

Preventing premature failure of tamper-evident seals

There are numerous environmental conditions which can cause the seal to break before arrival – Smithers experts provide a commentary on how a comprehensive testing program can help companies minimise the risk of premature failure.

Environmental conditions

Used widely in medical packaging, the seals also have to endure any intended storage conditions for the drug product contained within. If a drug product has to be refrigerated, then the packaging must also be able to withstand a cooler climate.

Alternatively, if a product is likely to encounter warmer conditions or a pressurised environment then packaging designers need to assess what impact these environments will have on seal performance.

Tamper evident seals should demonstrate adequate resistance to the potentially detrimental effects of temperature and humidity extremes, as well as daylight exposure as appropriate. In particular, elevated temperatures may exacerbate poor resistance to adhesive creep; low temperature a propensity to brittle failure.

The dynamic rupture of a bond demonstrating high bond strength and/or fibre tear gives no indication of the bonds durability to sustained loading. A simple analogy is a self-adhesive label which can be peeled intact if pulled gradually, but tears when pulled quickly. It is therefore necessary to subject bonds to creep resistance tests in order to assure long term durability.

The assessment can be extended to look at the resistance to elevated temperatures associated with some export markets. Low temperature performance of bonds is usually assessed by dynamic rupture in a chilled or freeze temperature chamber.

Long-term shelf life

Companies also need to consider the long-term shelf life of the product (and its packaging). If a medicine is marketed with a five-year shelf life, its packaging – including the seal – must also retain its functionality over the projected lifetime.

Medical device packaging must maintain integrity over its claimed shelf-life under the storage conditions specified by the manufacturer and the same is true of any tamper-evident feature. Smithers can tailor an accelerated aging test program to your particular requirements.

Find out more about our packaging testing.