Barrier coatings for juice bottles

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "Barrier coatings for juice bottles", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 29 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Barrier coatings for juice bottles

Barrier coatings for juice bottles

Keywords: PPG Industries, Coatings, Graham Packaging

It is reported that a new generation of Bairocade gas barrier coatings for polythylene terephthalate (PET) containers is making its commercial debut on single-serve juice bottles manufactured by Graham Packaging.

Bairocade coatings, developed and manufactured by PPG Industries, are said to be fully compatible with existing recycling technology. The epoxy-amine coatings are being applied to the exterior of 16oz bottles for Northland Cranberries of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, USA and Cliffstar, of Dunkirk, NY, USA and on 20oz bottles for Old Orchard Brands of Sparta, Michigan, USA.

The bottles, blow-moulded and coated at a Graham facility in York, PA, mark the worldwide introduction of a coating specifically designed for juice bottles. Other Bairocade coatings by PPG have been applied to more than one billion bottles in the past five years for carbonated soft drinks in the Middle East and beer in Australia.

"We are delighted that Bairocade coatings are now helping juice makers meet customer requirements for freshness and convenience", said John Lewis, PPG marketing specialist.

The growing popularity of PET bottles, especially in single-serve sizes, was the driving force behind PPG's efforts to develop Bairocade coatings. To maintain their freshness, oxygen-sensitive beverages packaged in PET containers require greater gas barrier protection when the ratio of bottle surface area to content, or liquid volume, increases. Bairocade coatings provide that protection, enhancing product shelf life up to 300 percent compared with untreated PET bottles, according to Lewis.

"Bairocade coatings offer the most cost-effective barrier technology on the market", said Roger Prevot, senior vice president and general manager of Graham's food and beverage business. "Bairocade coatings also have more flexibility to quickly and easily accommodate different sizes and shapes of bottles."

According to Mark Leiden, Graham's director of commercial development, the coating will be used on a full line of single-serve containers ranging from 8oz to 20oz. The new line of bottles can be easily stacked, dispensed through vending machines and fits in standard automobile cupholders.

After the bottles are moulded, the Bairocade coatings are applied, using electro-static spray guns. Infrared ovens cure the coating, creating the gas barrier as well as a glossy finish that resists scuffing and improves the hazy look typical of PET containers.

Bairocade coatings, which comply with US Food and Drug Administration regulations, do not change a PET bottle's "I" resin identification code, which is important to recyclers. Coated bottles can be processed through existing recycling systems. "In fact, three industrial scale trials and independent laboratory tests confirmed that conventional recycling technology separates the coating from the PET for disposal as non-hazardous waste", Lewis said. "As a result, coated bottles can be recycled back into fiber, strapping, sheet and even-single layer food and beverage containers."

Lewis said Bairocade coatings are being applied initially as clear coats, but the chemistry can provide a broad spectrum of colors. Colored coatings, including amber suitable for the beer industry, can be applied to clear PET bottles without reducing the recycled plastic's value.

Graham Packaging Company, LP, based in York, PA, is a leading global producer of custom blow-moulded plastic containers. The company's US Food & Beverage unit is believed to be the No. 1 supplier of plastic containers to the juice industry and has recently expanded to produce containers for thirst quenchers, teas and emerging new categories of beverage products.

Details available from PPG Industries Inc., Tel: +1 412 434 3046.

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