Optimisation of petaloid base dimensions and process operating conditions to minimize environmental stress cracking in injection stretch blow moulded PET bottles

Demirel, B 2008, Optimisation of petaloid base dimensions and process operating conditions to minimize environmental stress cracking in injection stretch blow moulded PET bottles, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Optimisation of petaloid base dimensions and process operating conditions to minimize environmental stress cracking in injection stretch blow moulded PET bottles
Author(s) Demirel, B
Year 2008
Abstract Injection stretch blow moulded PET bottles are the most widely used container type for carbonated soft drinks. PET offers excellent clarity, good mechanical and barrier properties, and ease of processing. Typically, these bottles have a petaloid-shaped base, which gives good stability to the bottle and it is the most appropriate one for beverage storage. However, the base is prone to environmentally induced stress cracking and this a major concern to bottle manufacturers.

The object of this study is to explain the occurrence of stress cracking, and to prevent it by optimising both the geometry of the petaloid base and the processing parameters during bottle moulding.

A finite element model of the petaloid shape is developed in CATIA V5 R14, and used to predict the von Mises stress in the bottle base for different combinations of three key dimensions of the base: foot length, valley width, and clearance. The combination of dimensions giving the minimum stress is found by a statistical analysis approach using an optimisation and design of experiments software package ECHIP-7.

A bottle mould was manufactured according to the optimum base geometry and PET bottles are produced by injection stretch blow moulding (ISBM). In order to minimise the stresses at the bottom of the bottle, the ISBM process parameters were reviewed and the effects of both the stretch rod movement and the temperature profile of the preform were studied by means of the process simulation software package (Blow View version 8.2). Simulated values of the wall thickness, stress, crystallinity, molecular orientation and biaxial ratio in the bottle base were obtained. The process parameters, which result in low stress and uniform material in the bottle base, are regarded as optimum operating conditions.

In the evaluation process of the optimum bottle base, bottles with standard (current) and optimized (new) base were produced under the same process conditions via a two-stage ISBM machine. In order to compare both the bottles, environmental stress crack resistance, top load strength, burst pressure strength, thermal stability test as well as crystallinity studies ¬¬¬via modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and morphology studies via environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and optical microscopy were conducted.

In this study carried out, the new PET bottle with the optimised base significantly decreased the environmental stress cracking occurrence in the bottom of the bottle. It is found that the bottle with optimised base is stronger than the bottle with standard base against environmental stress cracking. The resistance time against environmental stress cracking are increased by about % 90 under the same operating process conditions used for standard (current) bottles; and by % 170 under the optimised process conditions where the preform re-heating temperature is set to 105 oC.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Injection molding of plastics
Polyethylene
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