Before the Bottle is Made

Before a plastic bottle can be manufactured, the PET must be made. PET is a polymer that is made from petroleum hydrocarbons. It comes from a reaction between terephthalic acide and ethylene glycol. The process to make PET is called polymerization.

Making the Bottle
The process to make PET bottles is called stretch blow molding. PET pellets are injection-molded in a thin-walled plastic tube. The tube is then cooled and cut into shorter lengths. Each length of tube is inserted into a mold that is shaped like the bottle the manufacturer wants to create. A steel rod is inserted into the tube and blows out highly pressurized air. This pushes the plastic and PET against the inner sides of the mold. Under this high pressure and high temperature, the molecules in the PET polarize, in essence, crystallize, which give the bottle its strength. The consistent pressure also ensures a uniform thickness to the PET. The bottle bottom is made from a separate mold during the process and attached later.

Finishing the Bottle
The mold is then cooled quickly to keep any of the PET from flowing inside the mold. The bottle is then removed from the mold and trimmed to remove and PET that leaked through cracks in the mold. The bottles are then packaged and sent to the company that ordered them. Lids and labels are made in an entirely separate process. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blown film extrusion is the process by which most commodity and specialized plastic films are made for the packaging industry. The film blowing process basically consists of a extruding a tube of molten thermoplastic and continuously inflating it to several times initial diameter, to form a thin tubular product that can be used directly, or slit to form a flat film.
The Process

Plastic melt is extruded through an annular slit die, usually vertically, to

shrink film. Typical applications include Industry packaging (e.g. The lay-flat film is then either kept as such or the edges of the lay-flat are slit off to produce two flat film sheets and wound up onto reels. the expansion ratio between die and blown tube of film would be 1. To overcome this. Air is introduced via a hole in the centre of the die to blow up the tube like aballoon.form a thin walled tube. shrink film for transport packaging.g. On higher output lines. for plastic bags and sacks) or the tube can be slit to form a sheet. packaging bags. small layers of special adhesive resins are used in between. evoh. the output of the extruder and the speed of the haul-off • Eliminate end effects such as edge bead trim and non uniform temperature that can result from flat die film extrusion • capability of biaxial orientation (allowing uniformity of mechanical properties) • Very high productivity • Permits the combination of a number of different materials and properties applications: Blown film can be used either in tube form (e. the air inside the bubble is also exchanged. packaging film for frozen products. a high-speed air ring blows onto the hot film to cool it. fill and seal packaging film). food wrap film. so a multi-layer film would delaminate. Mounted on top of the die. Consumer packaging (e. If kept as lay-flat. LDPE and LLDPE) are the most common resins in use. This lay-flat or collapsed tube is then taken back down the extrusion ' tower' via more rollers. The tube of film then continues upwards. until it passes through nip rolls where the tube is flattened to create what is known as a ' lay-flat' tube of film. continually cooling. materials: Polyethylenes (HDPE. Laminating film (e. This is done either in line with the blown film process or at a later stage. In some cases.5 to 4 times the die diameter.g. or form. advantages: • Produce tubing (both flat and gussetted) in a single operation • Regulation of film width and thichness by control of the volume of air in the bubble. stretch film. the tube of film is made into bags by sealing across the width of film and cutting or perforating to make each bag. laminating of aluminium or paper used for . bag film or container liners). Typically. The drawdown between the melt wall thickness and the cooled film thickness occurs in both radial and longitudinal directions and is easily controlled by changing the volume of air inside the bubble and by altering the haul off speed. these include pp. This is known as IBS (Internal Bubble Cooling).g. but a wide variety of other materials can be used as blends with these resins or as single layers in a multi-layer film structure. these materials do not gel together. pa. These are known as “tie layers”. This gives blown film a better balance of properties than traditional cast or extruded film which is drawn down along the extrusion direction only.

silage stretch film). crop forcing film. films for the packaging of medical products. Agricultural film (e. film made of raw materials such as polyamides and EVOH acting as an aroma or oxygen barrier used for packaging food. Barrier film (e.g. . greenhouse film.g.packaging for example milk or coffee). silage film. cold meats and cheese). e. g.