A new titanium-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin allows soft drink manufacturers to produce clearer bottles faster.
PET is used as a packaging material worldwide, with manufacturers increasingly using it to replace glass as it is ligher and more convenient for consumers.
US-based Wellman said its PermaClearTi packaging resin, aimed at the carbonated soft drink industry, boosts conventional PET properties by using a titanium-based, antimony-free catalyst.
The development follows Wellman's launch of ThermaClearTi, a titanium-based resin design for hot fill packaging.
Using a titanium catalyst allows the PET resin to be formed at higher temperatures and at greater speeds, the company claims.
The improved performance of the titanium-based PET means less resin is required for bottles containing pressurised carbonated drinks, reducing packaging weight and improving clarity.
Jim Bruening, Wellman's director of research and development in PET resins said the PermaClearTi and ThermaClearTi titanium resins allows bottlers to raise filling temperatures, and reduce injection cycle times by up to 10 per cent.
Wellman manufactures and markets polyester products, including PermaClear PET packaging resins and Fortrel polyester fibers.
Modern manufacturing techniques remove antimony from PET. Studies have found that acidic drinks caused antimony to leach from PET, which can be toxic to humans when consumed.