GERMANY/NORWAY - A 100% spill proof guaranteed smart closure system for non-carbonated soft drinks has been introduced to cater to the requirements of the "on-the-go generation".
The Flex28 closure, designed by Norway’s SmartSeal SA, is an automatically-activated valve design that gives the user the benefit of integrated hands-free spill control on top of the traditional sports closure features.
The technology involved resembles that of valves used for scuba diving. The valve is triggered by the slight under-pressure in the mouth while drinking from the bottle. When suction is applied to the closure, the valve releases and expels water and when suction is removed the valve closes again, preventing any liquids from spilling. The design features several important attributes from single-hand opening to a 180 degree hinged lid that stays out of the way when drinking.
This innovative closure system was made possible with the aid of a special sealant compound. German-based Actega DS met the challenge. With wide experience in handling thermoplastic elastomers and developing the most demanding formulas, a new sealant compound evolved during years of research and development in close collaboration with SmartSeal.
The final product is called Polyliner 667 PFT. This is commercialised with the SmartSeal Flex closures for non-carbonated soft drinks. The compound is a PVC-free granulate conforming with FDA and EU regulations. PFT is a special in-house Peak-Free Technology, a treatment to ensure that the compound has the best sensory properties to ascertain no off-taste of the filled goods. The compound is specifically designed for sports drink applications.
“SmartSeal closures are steadily gaining popularity worldwide,” said Paal Steensland, Head of Sales at SmartSeal SA. Developed to prevent children from spilling drinks in the back of the car, the closure is not only perfect for small children.
”It provides the consumer with a brand new and different user-experience. It is practical for sports drinks, suitable for the on-the-go consumption or daily hydration and useful to people who have an active lifestyle and want to bring a bottle with them in their bag or when exercising”, explained Steensland. “The closure system could is also a selling point for beverage brands looking for new ways to differentiate themselves and stand out in a crowded market, and apparently one should be able to drive a car over the bottle, and the bottle will burst before the closure releases the slightest drop.”
The Smart Seal Flex28 exists in both long (1810) and short (1881) versions. A 38mm version also suitable for hotfill is being developed with Actega DS material expertise and should be ready by Spring 2016.