The first hot-fill PET bottles that truly eliminate panels and ribs have been introduced by Amcor PET Packaging, Manchester, Mich. Bottlers gain flexibility to develop innovative designs that were previously not possible with hot-fill containers. Amcor says the first commercial application with a beverage maker is slated for the second quarter.
Amcor’s PowerFlex system features a proprietary diaphragm in the base of the container. Previously, sidewall panels were needed to absorb distortion as a hot-filled beverage cools to room temperature. With the Powerflex system, vacuum distortion occurs only in the base. The inverted conical diaphragm draws upward from the base as the liquid cools.
The straight-wall design reportedly provides excellent top-load strength. With no points of stress concentration, there is no potential for bending. Superior stacking characteristics, lightweight, and durability opens up opportunities in premium beverages sold in warehouse or club stores. Amcor is targeting 16- and 20-oz sizes but will examine others from 8 to 32 oz. Future developments may also expand beyond beverage uses.