New base for PET bottle

French firm Sidel has developed a new PET bottle base for still drinks with a shape that is said to significantly increase the base resistance and stability. This means it can improve bottle rigidity, while lowering package weight and also energy consumption during production. The end result is a PET bottle that can cost less to produce, yet offer better pallet stability and higher bottle integrity throughout the supply chain, without compromising on the safety standards of the beverage inside, according to Sidel. The base is especially suited for water and juices, and under certain conditions can also be used for other still beverages.

The Sidel StarLite bottle base utilises two proprietary PET design innovations: the Edge Beam, which is a specific groove structure that improves base stiffness, and the Smart Disc, a disc structure that reinforces the base to prevent deformation. The base can be retrofitted into existing bottle designs and shapes, and applied to existing production lines, using Sidel’s accompanying StarLite mould bases. The design can be used for all Sidel blowing platforms and output speeds, including the new Matrix system for liquid packaging, and the following filling solutions: regular, ultra clean and aseptic.

Sidel’s packaging experts analysed different base designs to achieve optimum strength. They then carried out numerous computer simulations followed by real-world physical tests. In those tests the StarLite design resulted in up to a 30% increase in top-load dent resistance when the bottle is on a pallet, and up to a 55% increase in side-load resistance, a particular advantage when the bottle is on a conveyor or in a vending machine, for example. Overall pallet integrity also increased by up to 50% during transportation.

In tests the base also produced increased resistance to extreme temperatures (hot or cold), making it especially useful for storage in harsh conditions. The bottle lasted up to 25 days without bottle deformation in 50°C conditions, and recorded up to a 50% decrease in base rollout under frozen conditions.

Regarding reduced package weight, the base offers increased lightweighting possibilities of up to 1 gram of PET for a 0.5 litre bottle or 2 grams on a 1.5 litre format. The base is also compatible with nitrogen drop technology, which further increases lightweighting opportunities.

Furthermore, if the bottle pressure generated by the nitrogen dosing is 0.8 bar or under, StarLite can replace the traditional mini-petaloide base usually associated with carbonated soft drinks in the mind of consumers. Finally, the required blowing pressure for the base is less than 20 bars, offering a reduction in air pressure of up to 25% during Sidel tests.


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