The industry's lightest 64-oz hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle establishes a new standard for the size category. The unique stock container for juices and teas from Amcor Rigid Plastics delivers major sustainability advantages by utilizing novel design, tooling, and process technologies to slash 9 grams, or 13.2 percent, from the typical 68-gram PET bottle.
Amcor's Innovation Group, consisting of a cross-functional design team of 20-year packaging veterans, developed patent-pending Powerblock 3.0 technology to provide a lightweight and strong stock hot-fill PET bottle with superior filling and stacking performance. The container also boasts a 38-mm lightweight finish that saves considerable material compared to the standard 43-mm finish for 64-oz PET bottles.
"The PowerBlock 3.0 container is a major breakthrough because we achieved a highly sustainable packaging solution without compromising performance," says Michael Lane, Amcor principal engineer. "Our unique lightweight design retained line/stack handling performance and maintained ergonomic features for consumer handling."
Multiple utility and design patents are pending for this novel PowerBlock 3.0 container. One patent covers an optimized conical base pushup with special diameter and height ratios and relationships. Another patent covers a round or rectangular base with strap-like features that are added to create a footed-style base. The segmented standing surface consists of four standing one-inch columns, which are lightweight, strong, and rigid.
Together, these technologies work synergistically to unlock material normally trapped in the base area. This allows for better material distribution in the container body, resulting in a lighter weight container without sacrificing performance. Angles, ratios, and other bottle geometry are optimized to obtain a balanced response to vacuum, pressure, and top load forces.
Powerblock 3.0 provides numerous benefits including multiple fill contact points and flat sides for added stability; optimized footprint (width and depth) for improved pallet pattern and corrugate savings; sustainability benefits including a reduced carbon footprint and transportation costs; and secure consumer handling with three intuitive areas for single-hand pouring.
Amcor applied its vast industry experience and advanced simulation programs to develop the lightweight base technology. A number of virtual modeling techniques were utilized to effectively predict key performance parameters like quantified hot-fill characteristics and warehouse stack performance.
While Powerblock 3.0 is initially targeted for 64-oz hot fill containers, Amcor expects to adapt the technology to other hot-fill bottles. Amcor has completed all development and the stock bottle is already commercial in several locations across the U.S.