German company Actega DS believes that breweries and soft drinks makers are only now becoming aware of the potential material savings that low gauge ‘crown corks’ or bottle tops can bring.
Explaining the history of so-called crown corks (bottle tops to the general public) the company based in Bremen, Germany said the standard sheet thickness was 0.22-0.24mm to date but that new 0.17mm corks were up to 0.07mm thinner and 0.24g lighter.
“Considering the entire annual volume of 42bn crown corks produced for one brewery alone – one of the biggest ones – these savings involved around 10,000 tons of steel or €10m,” the company said.
“The advantages are obvious – increased material efficiency is an immediate cost advantage while weight reduction slashes transport costs and environmental pollution…”
Special sealant assumes steel characteristics
Explaining that the first steps have been made to cut sheet thickness futher, to 0.15mm, Actega DS said the thickness of crown corks can only be cut using a special sealant compound that assumes some of steel’s characteristics.
This is only possible using an extremely flexible and soft plastic, and Actega DS said its experience of handling thermoplastic elastomers had allowed it to develop the compound over two years in tandem with beverage and closure manufacturers.
‘Low-gauge crown corks are still news’
Svelon 830LG low-gauge sealant compound – launched around a year ago – is supplied as a granulate to closure manufactures and is free from PVC and plasticizers.
A spokesman for Actega DS told BeverageDaily.com: “As you know, the standard crown cork has been on the market for more than 20 years.
“So the low gauge crown cork is still news. Breweries and soft drink producers are now aware of the new possibilities,” he added.
Explaining the benefits of thermoplastic elastomers more generally, Actega DS said the materials had enormous flexibility and a high degree of themal and media resistance that made them a viable alternative to vulcanized rubber, PVC and silicone.