Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

New process enables 20% reduction in hot fill PET container weights

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New process enables 20% reduction in hot fill PET container weights
Innovative process enables PET bottle lightweighting for hot fill beverages and liquid foods
In Use – Commercially available

Benefits
Packaging Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks, Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars

Supply Chain Phase
Design, Filling, Production

Details

A US based manufacturer has developed a new process for manufacturing light weight PET containers for high-acid sensitive hot fill beverages and liquid foods. Whereas hot filling normally requires thick walled containers, this technology allows for the use of thinner walled containers without the need for vacuum panels and with no impact on the performance of the bottle.
 
There are seven key steps to the process:
  1. PET preforms are injection moulded with standard injection equipment using fast crystallisation PET resin
  2. PET containers are blown in hot blow molds to their final shape, but with a ThermoShape™ base
  3. Flash pasteurised products are filled at temperatures up to 92C for sterilisation of all internal container surfaces
  4. The containers are sealed using commercially available one piece, double-lip closure technology
  5. The containers are tilted to allow the inner closure areas to be sterilised by beverage temperature contact
  6. Immediate cooling of the filled containers in a closed-loop water spraying tunnel maintains taste and vitamin contact. During this process, an internal container vacuum is created, distorting the thin-walled container as there are no vacuum panels.
  7. Containers are then treated in the  ThermoShape™ machine to crease an internal pressure which returns the bottles to their original shape.
The ThermoShape™ process has been developed by Plastipak packaging Inc of the USA.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The manufacturers state the the process can enable up to 20% packaging material reduction for hot fill PET containers for beverages and liquid food. This is achieved without the need for vacuum panels, which therefore provides greater design freedom and allows the technology to compete as an alternative to aseptic filling, use of preservatives or hot-fill glass containers.
 
 The new process step takes place after the hot filling stage and before labelling and is therefore relatively easy to introduce into existing filling lines.

Intellectual Property

The new process has been developed by Plastipak packaging Inc of the USA and has been trademark protected as ThermoShape™.

Consultant View

The new process step takes place after the hot filling stage and before labelling and is therefore relatively easy to introduce into existing filling lines.
 
Reviewers who are interested in light-weighting of beverage containers should consult the REID database to discover other technologies which address the same objective. Try searching the database using combinations of search terms and filters such as "Beverages", "Light-weight" and "Light-weighting".

Contacts and Further Information

Plastipak Holdings, Inc.
Global Business & Technology Center
41605 Ann Arbor Road
Plymouth, Michigan 48170
Tel: 001 734-455-3600

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