Lightweight foamed PET process offered for beer bottles

oPTI.JPGPlastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI) is now making its oPTI™ lightweight foamed PET container blow-molding process available for beer applications. The process can be used to produce bottles in a variety of structural configurations depending on the brewer’s shelf-life and marketing objectives. These include a monolayer PET version and two overmolded options: an oPTI inner layer and an overmolded traditional PET outer layer, or a traditional PET inner layer with oPTI technology used to produce the external layer.

The overmolded options have been developed to deliver point-of-sale differentiation coupled with performance attributes at a cost significantly lower than single-use aluminum beer bottles, says PTI. The dual-layer structures also enable a customization of barrier attributes. For example, oxygen barrier can be added to the inner layer, while the outer is made with carbon-dioxide barrier.

Further, the oPTI process allows for visual aesthetics and a tactile feel that have not previously been experienced in the beer category, according to PTI. Colorants can be used in conjunction with either layer in the overmolded structure to achieve visual impact. Additionally, brand support via high embossing capability is possible when using the oPTI technology on the outer layer.

PTI relates that OPTI technology can produce bottles with improved light barrier when compared to traditional PET containers. Additionally, the foam process enables lightweighting of up to 5% without significant loss of performance.

Launched in 2009, the technology represents a departure from traditional PET processing approaches. The oPTI process is based on preforms made from MuCell® microcellular foam-injection technology licensed from Trexel, Inc. The bottles can then be blow-molded on conventional, unmodified blow-molding equipment.

In addition to PET, the foam bottle technology is applicable to other resins such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyethylene naphthalate (PEN). Potential applications include a range of bottles and jars in food, beverage, personal care, household chemical, and other markets.


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