PETWORK
01/2014

SIPA puts the (cold) squeeze on hot-fill drinks bottles

SIPA has created a new design for small PET drinks bottles that makes them robust enough to be hot-filled, but still provides the suppleness for squeezing in use. Hot filling provides a cost-effective alternative to aseptic filling.
Developing a squeezable hot-fillable bottle requires a lot of skill and know-how. It’s not surprising, then, that designs for bottles already on the market from famous brands have been ring-fenced by patents. So the success of SIPA’s design experts in coming up with a concept that is not only hot-fillable and squeezable, but which also offers extra features for the drinks maker and for the consumer, is all the more impressive.

When SIPA started on the new project, it already had two applications pending for patents on hot-fill squeezable bottles—but our designers felt they could do even better. The original ideas were for a design featuring three vacuum compensation panels around the circumference to keep the bottle in shape as the contents cool after filling.

The new bottle design features four panels to provide even more stability. Each panel is an isosceles trapezoid, although at first glance it looks more like a triangle. Each panel is upside down with respect to the two either side of it. The overall effect is to make the bottle look very “chunky.” And brand owners have plenty of space to put on their logos and information labels.
The bottle looks great, and it performs extremely well too: it can be filled at up to 90°C without deforming afterwards.

The original 500-mL design, bottle with a 33-mm neck finish, weighs about 24g, which is noticeably lighter than traditional hot-fill bottles. It’s 214 mm high, and has a maximum diameter of 66.7 mm. The design can be also applied to formats ranging from 250 ml to 750 ml. Whatever the size, all the bottles can be produced at high output rates on rotary stretch-blow molding machines equipped for the hot-fill process.