Packaging – internal pressure resistance

A demonstration of how to determine the pressure that bottles can safely withstand when they are filled with carbonated drinks – a test used by drinks producers, retailers and packaging manufacturers for quality control and troubleshooting.

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Internal pressure resistance testing is used for containers which are used to pack carbonated drinks, these can be glass or plastic. The test is performed to establish the pressures that the container can withstand inside as it's being used to pack carbonated drinks.

We would expect clients that pack soft drinks or sparkling wines to use this test, and also retailers to verify specifications from packaging manufacturers.

This test is carried out by filling the container with water, the water is then hydraulically pumped throughout the system and the pressure is recorded on a pressure gauge. In the case of a plastic container some distortion of the container will be seen before eventual rupture. Pressures for plastic containers will be around 12 bar before they rupture. With glass containers, particularly used for sparkling wines and champagnes, the pressure will exceed this - usually exceeding around 16 bar. Most specifications for wine bottles are set to 16 bar and anything in excess of this proves that the bottle can withstand the internal pressures it's designed for.

Glass containers can fracture in different ways, some can be more dramatic than others where the entire bottle breaks down, and this is important to recognise where weak points or defects are present within the glass.

If a problem arises in the supply chain this test can be used to detect issues that might have occurred and to troubleshoot and investigate these defects or weakness in containers.

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