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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0352130 19.01.1995
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0352130
Titel Verfahren zum Blasformen eines flachen Behälters mit Teilen verschiedener Wandstärken.
Anmelder Mitsui Petrochemical Industries, Ltd., Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Tanaka, Hirosi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100, JP;
Morisige, Kozo, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 68919767
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, DE, ES, FR, GB, GR, IT, LI, LU, NL, SE
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 21.07.1989
EP-Aktenzeichen 893074369
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 24.01.1990
EP date of grant 07.12.1994
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 19.01.1995
IPC-Hauptklasse B29C 49/18
IPC-Nebenklasse B29C 49/14   B29C 49/76   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to a method of producing a flat container that has thick walls in the mouth and shoulder portions and thin walls in its body and has a high flatness.

It is fairly difficult to produce containers, in particular flat ones, having thick walls in the mouth and shoulder portions and thin walls in the body. None of the methods proposed so far are completely satisfactory. Such containers are currently produced by the following methods:

   a method using a flat parison in combination with a parison controller;

   a method using a lateral expander (Japanese Patent Public Disclosure No 61-134224) which expands the edges of a full length parison beyond the edges of a mould; and

   a sheet blowing technique.

These methods however have their own problems. The first method produces a flat mouth portion and involves difficulty in providing a uniform wall-thickness distribution in the body. The second method involves difficulty in achieving a uniform wall-thickness distribution in the body. The third method presents difficulty in attaining a uniform wall-thickness distribution in the mouth portion.

A further method is described in JP-A-63/42,834 which describes a method of producing a container in which the cylindrical shoulder of the container is moulded to be thicker than the body. The shoulder is moulded first, the parison is then drawn downwards to the full length of the container. It is then confined in a mould and expanded. The prior art portion of claim 1 is based upon the disclosure of this document.

Further, WO-A-87/04,661 also describes a method of producing a flat container which expands a full length parison to fill an intermediate mould and then confines it within a further mould to achieve its final, flat shape.

It is an aim of the present invention to overcome disadvantages associated with the prior art.

According to the present invention, there is provided a process for producing a blow moulded container from molten resin, said process comprising the steps of:

   extruding the molten resin from a die head to form a parison;

   closing the bottom of said parison by pinching;

   preforming part of the parison into a thick-walled portion while forcing a fluid into the parison at a sufficient pressure to prevent contact between the inner surfaces of the parison;

   drawing the remainder of the parison longitudinally to a length at least 1.1 times its original length while the parison is at a temperature not lower than the melting point of the resin;

   confining the parison in a split mould having a cavity of a shape conforming to that of said container; and

   forcing a pressurised fluid into the parison confined in said mould so that the parison is forced into close contact with the inside surfaces of the mould cavity;

   characterised in that, before confining the parison in the split mould, the parison is expanded to form a thin walled portion, by using a fluid under pressure to create a pressure differential across the wall of the parison, the parison being expanded such that the outer side surfaces of the parison will extend beyond side edges of the mould cavity as the parts of the mould are brought together to cause side portions of the parison to be fused together.

In a preferred embodiment, the ratio of the wall thickness of the thicker portion of the moulded container to that of the thinner portion is at least 5.

In another preferred embodiment, the flatness of the moulded container (i.e. the ratio of its larger diameter to the smaller diameter) is at least 2.5.

In yet another preferred embodiment, the resin is polypropylene, polyethylene or poly(4-methyl-1-pentene).

A further preferred embodiment of the invention is disclosed in claim 5.

The present invention can alleviate defects of the prior art and can provide a process for producing a flat container having portions with differing wall thicknesses in that it has thick walls in the mouth and shoulder portions and thin walls in the body.

The present invention will be further described hereinafter with reference to the following description of exemplary embodiments and the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Figs. 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d are schematic views showing four of the steps of the process of the present invention;
  • Fig. 1e is a diagram showing the container produced by the sequence of these steps;
  • Figs. 2a and 2b show in cross section the neck and body portions, respectively, of a container produced by a prior art method;
  • Figs. 3a and 3b show in cross section the neck and body portions, respectively, of a container produced by the method of the present invention; and
  • Fig. 4 is a diagram showing the profile and dimensions of the container produced in the Example.

The process of the present invention is described hereinafter in more detail. In accordance with the present invention, a molded container may be produced with a commonly employed extruder and die. Figs. 1a to 1d show the sequence of steps for producing a container using a die 1 equipped with an air nozzle 3 for expanding a parison 2 extruded therefrom.

As shown in Fig. 1a, the parison 2 as a thin tube of molten resin emerging from the die 1 is sealed at its bottom 2a by means of a parison chuck 4. At the same time, a given amount of compressed air is supplied into the parison from the air nozzle 3 in the die 1 so as to expand the parison slightly, namely, to an extent that prevents contact between the inner surfaces of the parison. The parison at this stage has the thickness necessary to make the thick-walled portions, such as the mouth and shoulder portions, of a complete container. In Figs. 1a to 1e, the parison is illustrated by the dashed line for the sake of clarity.

The upper part of the slightly expanded parison 2 as shown in Fig. 1a is confined in the first split mold 5 as shown in Fig. 1b so that the parison is divided into two portions, one being indicated by 2c and used to form the intended container, and the other being indicated by 2d and to be removed at a later stage. As shown in Fig. 1b, the first mold 5 consists of a pair of mold halves 5a and those portions which are to make contact with the parison 2 are so shaped as to impart predetermined contours to the parison. In the case shown in Fig. 1b, the upper portion 5b of each mold half is intended to provide the parison 2 with a shape corresponding to the mouth of a container, whereas the middle to lower portion 5c will provide a shape corresponding to the shoulder of the container. Thus, the gap between the two upper portions 5b will serve as an opening 6 for the mouth.

After completion of the molding of the mouth and shoulder portions of a container by means of the first mold 5, the parison 2, while it remains molten (with its temperature not lower than the melting point of the resin), is drawn or drafted as shown in Fig. 1c by moving the parison chuck 4 downward by a distance corresponding to the length of the body of the container. The drawing speed should be much faster than the drawdown rate of the parison. Simultaneously with this drawing or drafting operation, compressed air is blown into the drawn portion 2c of the parison from the air nozzle 3 through the opening 6 so as to expand the portion 2c by a predetermined degree (preblowing). The draw or draft ratio li:lo,should be at least 1.1 in order to produce a container having a large wall thickness in the mouth and shoulder portions and a small wall thickness in the body.

In the next step, the second split mold 7 is brought into contact with the first split mold 5 and clamped as shown in Fig. 1d. The second mold 7 is composed of a pair of mold halves 7a and has a cavity 7b the inside surfaces of which will come in contact with the portion 2c of the parison to provide it with a shape that corresponds to the contour of the body of the container.

The expanded parison should be confined in the second mold 7 in such a way that the outer edge of the parison will extend beyond that of the cavity 7b in the mold 7. Confining the expanded parison completely within the cavity 7b is not preferred since if the container to be produced has a complex profile, not all part of the outer edge of the parison will come in close contact with the inner surfaces of the mold cavity in the subsequent step of additional expansion no matter how small the degree of complexity may be. Another disadvantage will occur if the container to be produced has an increased degree of flatness (i.e., the ratio of the larger diameter to the smaller diameter of a cross section of the container body, or A/B in Fig. 4). As the parison is further expanded in the mold cavity, that part of the parison which is to make the smaller-diameter portion will first contact the inner surfaces of the cavity whereas that part of the parison which is to make the larger-diameter portion will then make gradual contact with the cavity. Because of this failure to achieve uniform expansion of the parison, a non-uniform wall-thickness distribution will occur in the parison, causing reduction in the reliability and yield of container products. This problem will become particularly noticeable when the degree of flatness (A/B in Fig. 4) of container is 2.5 or more. Thus, the present invention will offer particular benefits in the case of producing containers having an A/B value of 2.5 or more.

Simultaneously with or right after the clamping of the mold 7, compressed air is blown into the portion 2c of parison from the air nozzle 3 through the opening 6 so as to mold the parison to the shape of the final product (final blowing). The so shaped parison is then cooled.

After completion of the cooling, the first mold 5 and the second mold 7 are both opened, yielding a container 8 having the profile shown in Fig. 1e. The container 8 has the mouth portion 9 and the shoulder portion 10 which have been formed by the portions 5b and 5c, respectively, of the first mold 5, as well as the body 11 formed by the second mold 7. Both the mouth portion 9 and the shoulder portion 10 are thick-walled since they were not subjected to drafting in the first mold 5. On the other hand, the body 11 is thin-walled since it was drafted and formed so as to shape it against the side walls of the second mold 7. Thus, the container obtained is thick-walled in the mouth and shoulder portions and thin-walled in the body.

The portions 2d and 2a of the parison which do not make up the container 8 and the outer edge portions of the parison pinched by the second mold 7 are removed to complete the process of container production. The ratio of the wall thickness of the thicker portion to that of the thinner portion of the final product may be adjusted to 5 or more. Ratios of this order have been difficult to attain by the prior art but this can be easily achieved by the process of the present invention.

Any extrudable resin may be used in producing containers by process of the present invention. While polypropylene, polyethylene and TPX [the trademark of Mitsui Petrochemical Industries, Ltd. for poly(4-methyl-1-pentene)] are used with advantage, any other general-purpose resins may also be used. For molding containers of high transparency, resins of higher melt flow rates (MFR as measured by the method described in ASTM D-1238) are preferably used. By using the method of the present invention, even resin materials of high MRF values can be molded. Polypropylene preferably has a MFR value of no more than 10g/10 min.

Any conventional type of extruder may be used. In order to prevent excessive drawdown of the parison, large-diameter dies are preferably used. If it is desired to swell the parison by a great degree, small dies are preferably used. In producing flat containers by the method of the present invention, care should be taken for various aspects of the molding operation including extrusion, opening and closing the molds, and shaping of the parison.

The differences between the containers produced by the method of the present invention and a conventional method are briefly described below. If one wants to make a container having a thick-walled neck portion 20 as shown in Fig. 2a by a conventional method, uniform wall-thickness distribution is not attained in the body 21 and instead a thick-walled portion 21a and a thin-walled portion 21b will form as shown in Fig. 2b. To avoid this problem, pre-blowing is usually performed but then only a thin-walled neck portion will result.

In accordance with the method of the present invention, the neck portion 20 of parison is restricted by the first slidable mold 5 while the body 21 is drawn and subjected to preblowing. Thus, the neck portion 20 remains thick-walled whereas the body 21 comes out as a thin-walled portion that has a uniform wall-thickness distribution as shown in Fig. 3b.

The following example is given here for further illustrating the present invention but should not be taken as limiting.

EXAMPLE

Two containers having the profile and dimensions shown in Fig. 4 were produced, one being molded by the method of the present invention and the other by a conventional "direct" method. In the direct method, the parison is extruded farther beyond the second mold 7 and given the final shape by clamping it simultaneously with the first mold 5 and the second mold 7. The mold cavity had a shape corresponding to that of a container having flatness degree of 4.7 (A/B = 4.7 in Fig.4). The resin used as the starting material was polypropylene F652 having a MFR of 5g/10 min.

The extrusion was performed under the following conditions: die/core diameter ratio = 70/64 mm, die head temperature = 220°C, screw rotational speed = 60 rpm, L/D = 22, and screw diameter = 50 mm. Drawing or drafting was conducted at a stroke of 240 mm and at a rate of 14 mm/sec. Preblowing of the expanded parison was conducted for 2 seconds at a rate of 400 L/h, and the final blowing was performed for 15 seconds at a pressure of 6kgf/cm². The blown parison was cooled for 20 seconds to produce molded parts each weighing 40g.

The two containers were checked for wall-thickness distribution at various sites of the neck portion 20 and body 21. The results are shown in Table 1 for the method of the present invention and in Table 2 for the conventional direct method. The ratio of the wall thickness of the neck portion to that of the body is shown in Table 3 for each container. The wall-thickness distribution of each container in the circumferential direction of the body was analyzed statistically and the results are shown in Table 4.

Table 3 shows that a container having a large wall-thickness ratio between the neck portion(mouth and shoulder) and the body can be produced by the method of the present invention. Table 4 shows that the container produced by the method of the present invention has a smaller variance in the wall thickness of the body.

As described on the foregoing, the present invention provides a simple method by which the wall-thickness ratio of the neck portion to the body of a container can be made greater than has been attainable by the prior art methods. Further, the method of the present invention allows said wall-thickness ratio to be freely controlled so as to provide a thin-walled body having a uniform thickness distribution.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Verfahren zum Herstellen eines blasgeformten Behälters aus geschmolzenem Harz, wobei das Verfahren die Schritte aufweist:

       Extrudieren des geschmolzenen Harzes aus einem Spritzkopf (1) zur Bildung eines Vorformlings (2);

       Verschließen des Bodens des Vorformlings (2) durch Zusammenquetschen;

       Vorformen eines Teils des Vorformlings (2) in einen dickwandigen Teil (10) unter gleichzeitigem Drücken eines Fluids in den Vorformling (2) mit einem ausreichenden Druck, um eine Berührung zwischen den inneren Oberflächen des Vorformlings (2) zu verhindern;

       Strecken des Restes des Vorformlings (2) in Längsrichtung auf eine Länge (li) von zumindest 1,1-mal seiner ursprünglichen Länge (lo) während der Vorformling (2) eine Temperatur hat, die nicht niedriger als der Schmelzpunkt des Harzes ist;

       Einschließen des Vorformlings (2) in eine geteilte Form (7) mit einem Hohlraum (7b) einer mit der des Behälters übereinstimmenden Gestalt; und

       Drücken eines unter Druck befindlichen Fluids in den in der Form (7) eingeschlossenen Vorformling (2), so daß der Vorformling (2) in dichten Kontakt mit den inneren Oberflächen des Formhohlraums gezwungen wird;

       dadurch gekennzeichnet, daß, bevor der Vorformling (2) in der geteilten Form (7) eingeschlossen wird, der Vorformling (2) zur Bildung eines dünnwandigen Teils expandiert wird durch Benutzen eines Fluids unter Druck, um eine Druckdifferenz über die Wandung des Vorformlings (2) zu erzeugen, wobei der Vorformling (2) derart expandiert wird, daß eine äußere Seitenfläche des Vorformlings (2) sich über Seitenränder des Formhohlraums hinaus erstreckt, wenn die Teile der Form (7) zusammengebracht werden, um zu bewirken, daß Seitenteile des Vorformlings (2) miteinander verschmolzen werden.
  2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1,

    bei dem das Verhältnis der Wanddicke des dickeren Teils des geformten Behälters zu der des dünneren Teils zumindest 5:1 beträgt.
  3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder 2,

    bei dem das Verhältnis des größeren Durchmessers des geformten Behälters zum kleineren Durchmesser zumindest 2,5:1 beträgt.
  4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, 2 oder 3,

    bei dem das Harz Polypropylen, Polyethylen oder Poly(4-methyl-1-penten) ist.
  5. Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche,

    bei dem der Schritt des Formens eines dickwandigen Teils (10) den Schritt des Einschließens des oberen Abschnitts des Vorformlings (2) zwischen den zwei Hälften einer ersten geteilten Form (5) einschließt.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A process for producing a blow moulded container from molten resin, said process comprising the steps of:

       extruding the molten resin from a die head (1) to form a parison (2);

       closing the bottom of said parison (2) by pinching;

       preforming part of the parison (2) into a thick-walled portion (10) while forcing a fluid into the parison (2) at a sufficient pressure to prevent contact between the inner surfaces of the parison (2);

       drawing the remainder of the parison (2) longitudinally to a length (li) at least 1.1 times its original length (lo) while the parison (2) is at a temperature not lower than the melting point of the resin;

       confining the parison (2) in a split mould (7) having a cavity (7b) of a shape conforming to that of said container; and

       forcing a pressurised fluid into the parison (2) confined in said mould (7) so that the parison (2) is forced into close contact with the inside surfaces of the mould cavity;

       characterised in that, before confining the parison (2) in the split mould (7), the parison (2) is expanded to form a thin walled portion, by using a fluid under pressure to create a pressure differential across the wall of the parison (2), the parison (2) being expanded such that an outer side surface of the parison (2) will extend beyond side edges of the mould cavity as the parts of the mould (7) are brought together to cause side portions of the parison (2) to be fused together.
  2. A process according to claim 1, wherein the ratio of the wall thickness of the thicker portion of the moulded container to that of the thinner portion is at least 5:1.
  3. A process according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the ratio of the larger diameter of the moulded container to the smaller diameter is at least 2.5:1.
  4. A process according to claim 1, 2 or 3, wherein said resin is polypropylene, polyethylene or poly(4-methyl-1-pentene).
  5. A process according to any preceding claim, wherein said step of forming a thick walled portion (10) comprises the step of confining the upper portion of said parison (2) between the two halves of a first split mould (5).
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Procédé de production d'un récipient moulé par soufflage à partir d'une résine fondue, ledit procédé comprenant les étapes consistant à :

       extruder la résine fondue par une tête de filière (1) pour former une paraison (2) ;

       fermer le fond de ladite paraison (2) par pinçage ;

       faire d'une partie de la paraison (2) une portion (10) à paroi épaisse, tout en faisant pénétrer de force un fluide dans la paraison (2) avec une pression suffisante pour empêcher tout contact entre les surfaces internes de la paraison (2) ;

       étirer longitudinalement le reste de la paraison (2) jusqu'à une longueur (l&sub1;) égale à au moins 1,1 fois sa longueur initiale (l&sub0;), pendant que la paraison (2) se trouve à une température qui n'est pas inférieure au point de fusion de la résine ;

       enfermer la paraison (2) dans un moule à coques (7) dont la cavité (7b) présente une forme qui correspond à celle dudit récipient ; et

       faire entrer de force un fluide sous pression dans la paraison (2) enfermée dans ledit moule (7), de façon à appliquer la paraison (2), en un contact étroit, contre les surfaces internes de la cavité de moule ;

       ledit procédé étant caractérisé en ce que, avant d'enfermer la paraison (2) dans le moule à coques (7), on expanse la paraison (2) pour former une portion à paroi mince, en utilisant un fluide sous pression pour créer une différence de pression entre les deux côtés de la paroi de la paraison (2), la paraison (2) étant expansée de telle façon que la surface externe de la paraison (2) s'étende au-delà des arêtes latérales de la cavité du moule, pour que les parties latérales de la paraison (2) fusionnent ensemble quand les coques du moule (7) sont rapprochées l'une de l'autre.
  2. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1, dans lequel le rapport de l'épaisseur de paroi de la portion épaisse du récipient moulé à celle de la portion mince vaut au moins 5/1.
  3. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel le rapport du grand diamètre du récipient moulé à son petit diamètre vaut au moins 2,5/1.
  4. Procédé conforme à la revendication 1, 2 ou 3, dans lequel ladite résine est un polypropylène, un polyéthylène ou un poly(4-méthyl-1-pentène).
  5. Procédé conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ladite étape de formation d'une portion (10) à paroi épaisse comporte l'étape consistant à enfermer la partie supérieure de ladite paraison (2) entre les deux coques d'un premier moule à coques (5).






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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