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A genuine alternative to natural cork: co-extruded wine-cork with DuPont

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 25 April, 2005  (Company News)
A co-extruded cork, with an expanded core of DuPont
Sold under the VINOTOP® brand name, the company regards its new generation of synthetic stoppers for still wine as the answer to the European wine industry’s growing demand for alternative seals.

For the best part of three centuries, wineries have relied solely on natural cork oak to seal wine bottles – mainly thanks to properties such as elasticity, strength, cell structure and relative impermeability to air.

Now, following extensive testing and development, Anton Volpini de Maestri has selected Elvax® from DuPont for the core of VINOTOP®. Its foam-like structure consists of thin cells which elastically recover when inserted under pressure, resulting in a rapid and permanent sealing of the bottle. It also supports the outer skin of the co-extruded cork – made of a thermoplastic elastomer, which adheres well to glass. Opening the bottle is clean and simple, as the stopper can be extracted with any standard corkscrew, and without cork remnants.

“We came to the conclusion that Elvax® offers us excellent mechanical characteristics, highly reduced gas permeability, high elasticity, while maintaining the aroma and freshness of wine at its highest quality,” says Kurt Diblik, technical director at Anton Volpini de Maestri. The company has over 30 years of experience in the production of co-extruded synthetic corks for the wine industry, as well as other engineered plastic products, such as yoghurt cups. Further information can be found at

As illustrated by this new application, DuPont Elvax® is rapidly becoming a material of choice in closures and cap liners for beverages, including wine, water and carbonated soft drinks. Already present in many plastic caps and metal crowns, the FDA-approved, highly-elastic and durable polymer seals containers tightly and effectively, providing excellent gas retention, such as carbonation retention. Furthermore, the material is absolutely without aftertaste; Elvax® liners in caps used in the bottling of particularly taste-sensitive mineral water, illustrate this point.

Unlike other compounded liner materials, Elvax contains no mineral oil, which can mix with the beverage and cause deposit of a ring of unsightly brown residue on the inside of the bottle’s neck. In addition, the liners are virtually unobtrusive due to the material’s transparency. Its ease of processing at low temperatures can also result in energy savings for the manufacturer.
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