Qualifying as recyclable, reusable and refillable, the freshly patented, low-cost Barrier Bottle insulates the drink inside.
David Fussell, president of VenturSource Consulting, is a prolific inventor, holding more than 30 patents worldwide. He has also been successful—the patented Ornamotion proved a holiday ornament sensation, selling more than 60 million units.
Fussell believes the Barrier Bottle that he co-invented is another winner, telling Packaging Digest, “I’ve been working with new products for a long time and have never been involved in a product that had such potential.”
Here are 9 fascinating facts about Barrier Bottle, Fussell’s first patent in the packaging market.
The concept originated on a train.
“My associates, RP Agarwal and Dr. Anup Gupta, are professors at GLA University, Mathura, India,” explains Fussell. “For years they observed many of their countrymen riding non-airconditioned trains in high temperatures without access to cold water. Even if you freeze the water bottle overnight, the water heats up quickly, and the condensation on the bottle makes it difficult to carry in a bag or clothing. They thought about the thermos concept and wondered if the design could be used to manufacture an inexpensive plastic bottle.”
The professorial pair sought Fussell’s expertise in intellectual property manufacturing and marketing. He worked with them and filed for the U.S. patent in September 2019.
The name Barrier Bottle describes the structure.
The concept is similar to a thermos and is effectively a plastic-bottle-within-a-plastic bottle.
According to Fussell, the space between the two interior surfaces allows the use of specified gas mixtures to fill the barrier to maintain the contents at an optimal temperature for longer periods to extend the shelf life.
The bottle stays cold for 4-plus hours.
Engineers in India engineers performed extensive testing demonstrated that B.B. bottles of water refrigerated overnight remain cold for up to 4.5 hours longer than standard bottles of water.
A professional engineering firm also validated the test results.
“If you freeze a B.B., you have cold water all day long with little or no moisture on the outside of the bottle,” offers Fussell. “Think about the value of that in countries where cold water is scarce.”
It can be used as a single- or multiple-use container.
“I believe Barrier Bottle is valuable as a single-use bottle as well as a reusable bottle,” states Fussell. “B.B. can be produced from the same PET material as traditional water bottles, but the walls are a little thicker, so it makes a great reusable container. Both concepts can be implemented at the same time.”
In countries where the single-use bottles are threatened or barred, the Barrier Bottle would qualify as a refillable and reusable bottle, he points out.
Customers can promote a reuse bottle option at a price that competes with current single-use options where it’s extended shelf life and environmentally friendly design.
The per-unit cost is nominal.
Fussell pegs the cost at approximately $0.035 using PET, which could vary depending on the energy cost in the manufacturer's country.
The larger the size, the better it insulates.
In addition to the industry standard PET as the bottle polymer of choice, the B.B. is suitable for any FDA-approved thermoplastic.
As for container size and designs, Fussell reports that “our tests show all shapes and sizes see the same positive shift in performance. There is a slight gain in shelf life and insulation factors as the vessel volume increases.”
The Barrier Bottle floats.
The B.B. is approximately 0.20 grams heavier than a standard 0.5-L PET bottle with 0.20mm-thick walls, Fussell reports.
Yet, whether capped or uncapped, the B.B. floats in water. Fussell points that out because a plastic PET water bottle, for example, sinks in water if the cap's off.
“If discarded in a marine environment the Barrier Bottle does not end up on the lake, river or ocean bottom, which makes environmental cleanup far easier and far less costly,” he points out.
Fussell developed prototypes in his garage.
The pairing of inventions and garages is not only a cliché, it’s common: several among numerous include the telephone, Etch A Sketch, Dyson vacuum and the personal computer.
The Barrier Bottle is no exception.
“We’ve made about 40 prototypes, some of which were created in my garage before I hired an engineering firm to construct a prototype mold to produce bottles for testing,” says Fussell.
Licensing discussions are underway.
Fussell is in licensing discussions with several beverage companies in India.
“I’m seeking to license the concept to bottlers around the world,” he reports, “and am considering partnering with packaging experts that can help facilitate this product development into the Industry.”
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