Inventor(s)

HP INCFollow

Abstract

This disclosure describes a paper bottle design and manufacturing method to enable cost‐effective, high‐volume production of an eco‐friendly alternative to plastic and metal bottles. Currently, there are no practical methods to produce paper bottles in high‐volume production that are sufficiently cost effective, dimensionally accurate, functional, and cosmetically pleasing to compete or supplant the existing industry standard plastic or metal bottles. The only current high‐volume molded fiber liquid containing product is a urinal bottle which due to its unique use case can tolerate coarse dimensional tolerances and rough surface finishes and does not require the typical bottle features to hold and store liquids for a long shelf‐life like a barrier lining, screw‐on top caps, or pull‐off foil tops. As a first step to develop a functional paper bottle, a preliminary method of forming a one‐piece molded fiber bottle – but this method requires that the newly formed molded fiber bottle remain inside the 3D printed forming screen until sufficiently dried which is not compatible with high‐volume production. Drying the bottle in the screen requires many duplicate screens to achieve a sufficiently short cycle time and inherently hinders the drying process by capturing the water thereby increasing dry time and energy consumption which are major contributors to the bottle production costs. Methods have been developed to accelerate the water removal from the wet molded fiber while still constrained by the screen like the use of an inflatable bladder inserted into the inside of the bottle to force the water out through the screen with pressure, or the use of vacuum oven chambers to lower the boiling point of the water to speed drying. These methods add additional costly manufacturing steps that are also not compatible with the high‐volume and cannot compete with traditional plastic or metal bottle manufacturing processes. This disclosure describes several paper bottle constructions that achieve high‐volume, manufacturable designs by splitting up the bottle into two or more easily manufactured sections each compatible with current existing methods of high‐volume production including but not limited to traditional molded fiber tooling, rotary molding machines, hot‐pressing, and automated part transfers. The bottle body parts can be split along the long axis (coaxial to the bottle shape) or traverse (orthogonal to the bottle shape) or any combination of the two. In addition to utilizing multiple separate parts this method also suggests being able to produce the bottle sections in a ‘flat form’ with the two or more sections sharing a common side thus being ‘one‐piece’. (See Figure 6)

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