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Clariant announced availability of new blow-moulding tools that can help customers evaluate how Clariant colour and additive masterbatches perform in real-world applications. The tooling is available for use on full-size production blow-moulding machines located in the Company's West Chicago, IL, technical centre.

The new single-cavity tool, which is intended for reheat stretch blow moulding of clear or coloured PET polyester resins, produces a 12-oz (355 ml) round bottle with a long neck and curved sides. The design is intended to reflect current design trends for liquor bottles, but can also be used to evaluate wine, soft-drinks and other food and beverage containers too.

"This new mould includes the details that customers told us they wanted in prototype tooling," explains Peter Prusak, Head of Marketing, Clariant Masterbatches North America. "The tooling we've had in the past produced flask-shaped bottles and the broad, flat panels where not as representative of the shapes that producers of liquor bottles and other beverage containers are looking for today."

The tooling can be used to evaluate not only colour, but also performance-enhancing additives and barrier properties as well. Prusak says that the way plastic materials stretch to create a bottle's shape can vary depending on the colour and other ingredients in the compound. A resin/masterbatch combination that works well in one shape can develop cosmetic flaws or unacceptable physical properties in another. This is why it is so important to produce shapes that more accurately mimic the actual end-product containers.

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