Pop goes the Chip Bag

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pop goes the Chip Bag

Transitioning from lower altitude to a higher altitude decreases the pressure on a sealed container. Normally this would be recognized by the bloated appearance of the product in a sealed bag and a rapid release of the pressurized air inside when the bag is opened.  However, if the bag’s seal is weak, the bag can explode with a surprisingly load pop, en route.

This occurred recently on a trip where the altitude changed from 1248 feet to 7500 feet. Taking the temperature difference into account, the external air pressure changed from 14.08 psi (97.8 kPa) to 11.25 psi (77.6 kPa). This resulted in the decrease in external pressure of 2.83 psi (20.2 kPa or 78.3 inches of water) – sufficient to explode the weak seal.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the only time that a bag of the same brand of chips lost its seal during the same trip but previously the bag did not explode. Since several other brand of pretzels and other munchies did not experience a bag failure during many trips, it appears that a little product line pressure testing during packaging is in order to minimize a weak seal.

Air Pressure in a Chip Bag

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