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Packaging Insulation 101

Packaging insulation is vital to combat energy losses during transportation and storage as it reduces unwanted heat flow between the product and the environment. In particular, thermal materials act as a barrier, preventing heat transfer between objects of differing temperatures. The same principle works for packaging containers and buildings. Thermal insulated packaging is indispensable for the safe transit of biodegradable and highly perishable items, such as medicines, biotech, electronics, horticulture and chemicals – the purpose of which is to avoid deterioration in quality and efficacy. Many different types of these materials are available on the market today and companies select their preferred option based on cost, weight, effectiveness and environmental factors.

Preferable Characteristics

The objective of adequate insulation is to effectively maintain product temperatures within permissible range and reduce the deterioration rate of a product during transit. Depending upon the application, a good material has the following relevant characteristics:

  • High resistance to heat transfer by conduction, convection or radiation
  • Low cost 
  • Low weight
  • Low moisture susceptibility
  • Ease of fabrication and transportation
  • Durability
  • Mechanical strength


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Jean Bédard, MBA, is former President and Chief Executive Officer at Infitrak. He has more than 20 years of experience in developing and managing companies in the highly regulated pharma, life sciences and food sectors. He has acted as the Vice President in business development for a world-class company specialising in regulatory compliance, validation and process engineering for the pharma and biotech sectors. Jean has also acted as CEO of a large cold chain company, where he was responsible for managing over 1,000 individual projects. Additionally, he also holds an MBA in bio-industries management from the UQAM, Canada.

Kevin Kohleriter is President at The MarketBurst Group and Consultant for Mesa Labs. His former roles in senior management at Texas Instruments, Alcatel, McAfee and ShockWatch provide him with the experience to give strategy to clients and write about a variety of technology-related topics. He has published over 50 articles and papers in the cold chain market. Kevin graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in technical communications and has an MBA from the University of Dallas. 

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Jean Bédard
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Kevin Kohleriter
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