APT pack: Models to simulate the behaviour of materials before producing plastics

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Advanced knowledge of Polymer deformation for Tomorrow’s PACKaging

Logo APTPACK.jpg
Project acronym: APT-PACK
Duration: October 2004 – March 2008
Funded by: DG Research (FP6), NMP-Priority 3
Website: www.apt-pack.com

Project name: Advanced knowledge of Polymer deformation for Tomorrow’s PACKaging

Sub title regarding the application described : Information lines to scientific community

Contacts: Maria Moreno mmoreno@ainia.es, Almudena Imbernón aimbernon@ainia.es

1. Context and problematic

Packaging represents over 40 % of produced plastic in Europe almost 30 % of the world production. Europe is one of the main actors in the domain of polymers. Packaging represents a kind of paradox: final parts can (wrongfully) look simple or even useless, whereas producers have to guarantee specific properties (including mechanical properties due to storage and transportation, safety guarantee) and to control a highly sophisticated processing. Developments in that field often relied on empirical approaches and on technological know-how. Whatever its relevance is, this know-how does not effectively compensate for the lack of basic understanding that strongly inhibits durable and sustainable improvements.

Conversely, scientists do know that the properties of polymer are totally controlled by their structure and the way they are processed. A scientific route exists that can be complementary to technological know-how. Scientific excellence has reached such a level that it is now an opportune time to try to fulfil the old "dream" of a straightforward correlation between structure of polymers and the end-use properties of products.

The aim of APT-Pack is to develop a global strategy for optimising stretched plastic packaging to compensate the lack of knowledge and understanding that prevents achievement of durable improvements within this sector.

Areas of interest

-Within the food industry, applications and further research in bottling of beverages, packaging of dairy products, meat/fish products (due to the use of thermoformed trays) -Developments and further research in the Pharmaceutical industry

-Further research in the development of simulation software and new applications of mathematical models

2. Results and Applications


-1 prototype of blow-free bottle

-1 prototype of thermoformed tray

- Mathematical models, to use prior to producing to predict the behaviour of the materials; relevant for thermoforming and/ or stretch blow moulding

3. Novelties, benefits and added value The mathematical models provide a simulation of the behaviour of the materials when used for the production of the plastic. The development of the prototype allows the analysis of real situations before producing the plastics. The product and its use can be analyzed and then it is possible to correct any deviations wasting neither materials nor money.



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