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Coatings designed to extend shelf life of returnable bottles

By Ahmed ElAmin , 26-Nov-2007

Two European companies have reached agreement to commercialise coatings that extends the life of returnable glass bottles.

Arkema and Spraying Systems Co. said the partnership involves the technical and commercial development for the coatings.



Returnable bottles generally get scuffed by bottle-to-bottle contact during the filling process. With the increasing number of bottle trips, the bottle appearance and therefore the marketing value decreases, Arkema stated.



"Success for beer and soda manufacturers is about getting the products presented in the right way in the pubs, bars and shops where the customers experience the product," Arkema stated in announcing the agreement. "Bottle appearance can have a significant impact on market positioning, market share, brand image, and therefore on the bottom line."



An internal market survey by the companies indicates that bottles do not fulfill the requirements of a premium-packaging segment after 10 to 15 refill cycles.



An anti-scuff coating, developed by Arkema in collaboration with Spraying Systems Co., is already in use by SABMiller, which first tested the product in South Africa before announcing in September the roll out to its key breweries worldwide.



The company claims its Tegoglas 3000+ anti-scuff coating "significantly" delays the appearance of scuffing and protects the strength of a returnable glass bottle.



"It further improves the production flow, reduces the noise level and enhances the efficiency of the filling plant operations," the company claimed.



A new product, a post washer spray, will enable beer and soda fillers to protect their fleet at the earliest possible position and provides better coating distribution, the company claimed.



Arkema has also developed a masking or camouflage coating technology called Opticoat 140.



The coating for returnable bottles forms a thin masking layer to restore the glass-like appearance and feel in bottles that have already been scuffed.



Opticoat 140 can be applied to dry or wet, warm or cold bottles. The coating is resistant to humidity and is environmentally safe, the company claimed.



By allowing bottles to be reused as long as they are physically sound, Opticoat 140 can extend service life to as many as 50 cycles, the company claimed.

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