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News

Polymer's torque strength and stiffness help eliminate the need for a corkscrew

Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc : 18 October, 2004  (Application Story)
Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA) has broken into the wine industry. Typically found in automotive, electrical, and industrial product applications, Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc's high-performance polymer has found a new use as a threaded anchor for the patented twist-to-uncork wine packaging designed by packaging manufacturer Gardner Technologies Inc.
Amodel polyphthalamide (PPA) has broken into the wine industry. Typically found in automotive, electrical, and industrial product applications, Solvay Advanced Polymers Llc's high-performance polymer has found a new use as a threaded anchor for the patented twist-to-uncork wine packaging designed by packaging manufacturer Gardner Technologies Inc.

The new product carries the MetaCork trade name and will be on display at the K2004 International Trade Fair, Hall 6 Stand D76, 20-27 October 2004 in Düsseldorf, Germany. MetaCork consists of a hard plastic capsule with a threaded interior surface, a matching plastic threaded cap, and a natural or synthetic cork fitted with a threaded anchor, made from Amodel PPA, that is screwed into the cork during the bottling process.

Twisting the plastic capsule eases the cork out of the bottle, thanks to mated threads inside the capsule and on the neck of the bottle. Once removed, the cork along with the anchor and the top cap, can be pushed out of the capsule unit. The plastic capsule can be returned to the bottle for drip-resistant pouring, and the cap can be screwed back on for a leak-proof seal.

According to Patrick Whelan, P.E., director of engineering for Gardner Technologies, the design of the anchor is critical to the design of MetaCork since the average breakaway torque required between the anchor and capsule to extract a natural cork is about 14.5 inch-pounds.

'MetaCork is engineered to have zero failures in the field,' Whelan said. 'We selected Amodel PPA because it can withstand more than twice that level of torque. In short, it delivers the performance we need.'

The Amodel material used in the MetaCork is a 45% glass-reinforced grade of PPA resin. The material has very good flow characteristics, making it easy to mould the threaded anchor or other parts with complicated geometries. The processing window is relatively broad, and mould temperatures as low as 65C can be used.

Gardner Technologies is a privately held company based in Napa, California, the heart of the US wine industry. As a packaging manufacturer, the company is focused on providing innovative premium packaging solutions for the fine wine, premium spirits and speciality food and beverage markets worldwide.
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