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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1201: VII International Conference on Managing Quality in Chains (MQUIC2017) and II International Symposium on Ornamentals in association with XIII International Protea Research Symposium

Finite element modelling of the structural performance of ventilated paperboard packaging

Authors:   T. Fadiji, T.M. Berry, A. Ambaw, C. Coetzee, U.L. Opara
Keywords:   ventilated paperboard packaging, finite element analysis, package, produce
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1201.32
Ventilated paperboard packages are used globally, particularly in the fresh fruit industry, to protect the packaged fruit against damage and preserve the fruit to meet consumer needs. These packages go through a cold chain environment during distribution and thus require ventilation to maintain the airflow between the surroundings and the inside of the package. Ventilated package designs should therefore provide uniform air distribution and uniform cooling of the produce. However, during handling and transportation these packages encounter various types and combinations of mechanical loads such as drop, impact, vibration and compression loads. The presence of vent holes cause material loss of the package which leads to a compromise in the package stacking strength, and consequently results in produce damage. The strength of packages is, therefore, crucial for preserving the packaged produce, while the optimisation of the packages is essential to save time, money and resources. This research aims to increase the understanding of the structural behaviour of ventilated packages. Finite element analysis was used to create models to study the buckling of ventilated packages when subjected to stacking load. The application of finite element analysis for the design and optimization of packages is presented. Finite element models were validated with experimental tests and a good agreement was observed. This study highlights an alternative way to package designs with consideration to the mechanical strength while still providing proper and adequate ventilation to the packaged produce.

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