25 April 2011

A 2-liter soda bottle

That's what it looks like before it is inflated by the molding process.  Video here, via Reddit.


  1. I was unaware that this was the infant stage of soda bottles until I started Geocaching. I found one buried up to the cap under a bush. They make great cache containers due to their watertightness and you can quickly place them like a dead-drop.

  2. They make great children's test tubes or reaction vessels. They are sold at science supply stores for just that purpose. The idea for geo cache is a great idea thanks T.H. Foster.

  3. I have one of these sitting in my EDC bag. They are great for holding smaller, delicate items that i don't want smashed up. CountyComm sells them as "tube vaults"

  4. Ditto what 032125 said. I'm a medical first responder, and we use these to carry all kinds of little bits and pieces that would ordinarily get lost/broken floating around in one's pocket with all kinds of other, heavier equipment.

  5. I saw this on "how it's made" the other day.

  6. I bought a couple of them to start a an oyster mushroom culture on agar in. After sterilizing them in a pressure cooker they turned opaque.

    Not that it is relevant to anything previously mentioned.

  7. very cool. reminds me of how SIGG metal bottles are made...

    YouTube: SIGG HOW'S IT MADE?

  8. Yeah, I used to work at American Can's R&D center, and that is exactly what the pre-forms look like. There are reasons for this:

    1. They can mold them like that and ship them more economically to the inflating plant.

    2. When they inflate them, they first heat them with infrared to the correct temperature, in a continuous motion machine (one in which the container/product) does not ever stop until it is completed or filled), and when they inflate them (still moving), the stretching stress aligns the plastic molecules and makes the plastic much stronger.

    A bit about packaging (though I am not an expert on it):

    Since the 1950s when plastics packaging really began to take off, the thickness of packaging has grown steadily thinner and thinner. This has been made possible by R&D, coming up with better and stronger plastics, and improvements in manufacture. Just as a chain is no stronger than its weakest link, the same is true of packaging - it is not the average strength of the film or bottle, but the weakest point; that is where the package fails to do its job, and that had to be dealt with early on by making the overall thickness pretty heavy. More precise machines eliminated the thin spots, meaning they could reduce the thickness everywhere without risking those thin spots. That also saves on petroleum usage.

    We've come a long way in packaging since Napoleon offered a large prize to the person who could feed his army with preserved food. As I understand it, the winner packaged food in champagne bottles. A bit over 100 years ago, American Can invented the tin can, with its double-folded-over edge. Less and less food goes into cans every year.

    One thing about packaging is this: Many, many packages cost more than the product inside - some a LOT more.


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