Plastic is the material of choice for many when it comes to bottling up liquid products. Unlike glass and metal bottles, plastic is more adaptable, lightweight and cost-effective (to name a few pros). However, one complication with plastic bottles is that they can be subject to ‘panelling’.
Panelling happens when the bottles contents permeate the plastic, making the density within the bottle less than the pressure on the outside. When this happens the bottles structure begins to collapse – looking like all of the air has been squeezed out of it. This happens because the chemical liquid inside the bottles is incompatible with the resin used to make it.
One way to prevent this process is to fluorinate the bottles. This is when the bottles are exposed to copious amounts of fluorine ion which create a protective barrier on the surface of the bottle, stopping any gas or liquids escaping.
INTERESTING FACT: Fluorine gas atoms are larger than the hydrogen particles that make up the atomic structure of the plastic and replace them during fluorination – meaning, the fluorine gas effectively “plugs the holes”, preventing permeation. (See diagram.)
Fluorination can be done in-mould or post-mould. In-mould fluorination happens when fluorine gas is incorporated into the blowing of the bottle while it is being made. Whereas, post-mould, as the name would suggest, is exposure to the gas in a reactor after the bottle has been made. The latter method, especially for smaller quantities, is easier and more cost-effective than fluorinating the bottle prior to moulding. Regardless of which way you choose to have your bottles fluorinated, this is a permanent mutation of the plastics structure – so there is no worry of it rubbing off or losing its effectiveness. The fluorination of a bottle has no effect on its capability to be responsibly recycled following its use – Keeping it Green!
INTERESTING FACT: Fluorination DOES NOT change the formulation of the product within the bottle and nor does it cause loss of fragrance.
What can I use fluorinated bottles for??
The types of plastics that can be fluorinated include:
- LDPE squeeze bottles
PET plastics cannot be fluorinated – the material that water and cordial bottles are made of (not FDA approved).
There are a variety of chemicals that Grotech Production Limited can offer their services of packing into fluorinated bottles, including:
- Automotive Lubricants
- Pet Shampoos
- Plant growth products
- Paint Thinners
- Auto Additives
- Wood Preservatives
This list is not exhaustive and if you don’t see a chemical liquid listed here that you may require packing into a fluorinated bottle, click here and a member of our helpful manufacturing team will be happy to answer any of your packing queries.