AESTHETIC FILL - Filling to a specific level
in a clear package where the fill level is visible.
ANTIOXIDANT - A chemical substance that can
be added to a plastic resin to minimize or prevent
the effects of oxygen attack on the plastic (e.g. yellowing
A chemical substance applied to the surface of a plastic bottle, or incorporated
in the plastic from which the bottle is to be made. Its function is to make
the surface of the plastic article less susceptible to accumulation of electrostatic
charges that attract and hold fine dust on the surface of the bottle.
BARRIER - Protection from deterioration or
admittance of moisture or other elements (such as oxygen
and other gases) through package material.
BARRIER COAT - A surface coating to improve
permeation resistance and/or protect the container
BASE ø The bottom of the bottle or jar, often
marked with a recycle code and indentations used during
filling and labeling.
BEAD ø On Hinge-Guard/J-Cap style neck finishes,
the collar of plastic beneath the neck area that snap-on
caps rest against.
BLOW MOLDING - A process in which a warm plastic
parison or preform (hollow tube) is placed between
the two halves of a mold (cavity) and is blown into
the desired shape. This improves the gas barrier, stiffness,
clarity and impact strength of the container compared
to extrusion molding processes; and as a result, containers
can be reduced in weight.
BLOW PRESSURE - The pressure required to form
the parison or preform into the shape of the mold cavity,
in a blow molding operation.
BODY - The principal part of a container, usually
the largest piece containing the sides. In bottles,
the body is the main portion of the bottle without
BOTTOM PLATE (PLASTIC) - That part of the mold
which contains the heel (base radius) radius and the "push-up
' of the container to be formed.
BUTTERFLY HINGE - Flexible (i.e., living) hinge
used in joining the cover to the main body of a flip
top dispensing closure. Superior hinge for impact resistance.
CAD ø Computer Assisted Design
CAM ø Computer Aided Molding
CAPACITY - The amount of space inside a container
for a given amount of product. The normal volume (usually
measured in ccs, mls, ounces, or grams) of a bottle,
published in standard sizes used by industry. When
a bottle is filled to standard capacity, the contents
usually fill it up to its shoulder area.
CAVITY ø The part of the mold that contains
the reverse image of the product being formed.
CLOSURE - A term used to describe a metal or
molded cap which effects a primary seal when properly
applied to a container.
CONCENTRICITY - The characteristic of circles
or circular cylindrical surfaces of different radii
having a common center.
CONTINUOUS THREAD (C/T) FINISH - An uninterrupted
protruding helix on the neck of a bottle to hold a
screw type closure.
CORE ø The part of a mold that allows the
internal shaping of a product such as the internal
threads of a cap.
CR - Child Resistant, indicates that a package
will pass a test protocol administered by the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission.
CYCLE - The complete, repeating sequence of
operations in a process. In molding, the cycle time
is the period of elapsed time between a certain point
in one cycle and the same point in the next.
DENSITY - Weight per unit of volume of a substance,
expressed in grams per cubic centimeter, pounds per
cubic foot, etc.
DIMENSIONAL STABILITY - The ability of a material
to maintain its shape under given processing or use
DRUG MASTER FILE ø A Drug Master File (DMF)
is a submission to the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) that may be used to provide confidential detailed
information about facilities, processes, or articles
used in the manufacturing, processing, packaging, and
storing of one or more human drugs
ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS CRACKING - The susceptibility
of a plastic part to crack or craze under the influence
of certain chemicals, stress or other agents.
FILL POINT - The level to which a container
must be filled to supply a designated quantity of the
FINISH (PLASTIC) - The plastic forming the
opening of a bottle shaped to accommodate a specific
closure. It is the portion of the neck which carries
the threads, lugs or friction fit members to which
the closure is applied, and includes the sealing surface.
FLASH ø The extra plastic attached to a molding
along the parting line, that is removed before the
part is considered finished.
FLEXIBILITY - The property of a material that
will permit its being bent or twisted without breaking.
FLIP TOP/SNAP TOP DISPENSING CLOSURE - A two-piece
closure system where both pieces are typically attached
by a living hinge. One half provides the threads for
attachment to a bottle, tube or jar and an orifice
for dispensing the product while the other half provides
the closure mechanism, usually a pintel that snaps
audibly into the orifice.
FLUORINATION - A surface treatment for polyethylene
that is used to improve the barrier properties against
non-polar materials or solvent.
GAS PERMEABILITY - The ability of a gas or
other volatile substance to penetrate a material. Materials
that will allow significant passage of gases are said
to be permeable, while materials that resist or stop
the passage of gases are said to offer gas barrier
GAYLORD ø A term used to designate a very
large carton (i.e., 45Óx 33Óx 51Ó) that will fit one
per pallet. There are various sizes depending on the
pallet and the customer requirements.
HARDNESS - The resistance of a material to
compression and indentation.
HAZE - A cloudy or foggy appearance in a normally
HEAD SPACE - The space between the level of
the contents in the neck of a bottle and the closure.
It is intended to furnish space for expansion of product
due to heat or other action after packing. Head space
may also refer to the amount of space in a corrugated
shipper carton filled with plastic bottles or jars.
HEAVY GRAM BOTTLES ø Bottles blown from a parison
or preform to a size that is relatively small for the
parison's/preform's capacity. The result is a bottle
with greater wall thickness, because more plastic has
been distributed over a smaller bottle shape.
HERMETIC SEAL - A seal that will exclude air
and will be gas tight at normal temperatures and atmospheric
HIGH-DENSITY POLYETHYLENE (HDPE) ø A rigid,
tough and strong resin of natural milky color. HDPE
has very good stress crack resistance as well as high
impact and melt strength. With HDPE it is easy to add
INDENTED LABEL PANEL ø When the diamter of
the label panel area on a bottle is smaller than the
diameter of the bottle immediately above and below
the label panel area.
INJECTION MOLDING - A molding process in which,
under pressure, melted or liquefied plastic is forced
from a cylinder into a cooled mold cavity to form a
INJECTION BLOW MOLDING - A blow molding process
in which the parison or preform to be blown is formed
by injection molding.
J-CAP FINISH (also called HINGE-GUARD) ø Flexible
(i.e., living) hinge used in joining the cover to the
main body of a flip top dispensing closure. Consumers
open a J-Cap closure by removing a strip of plastic
holding the top of the closure to the base of the closure,
leaving a hinged, snap-top closure mechanism. This
type of closure can also provide tamper evidence.
LABEL PANEL ø The flat area of the bottle's
body where a label can be applied. Some of Alpha's
bottles feature indented label panels.
LIVING HINGE - Integral hinge made of flexible
LUG CLOSURE - A screw-type closure where the
thread is interrupted rather than continuous. The closure
is affected by a short camming action. One advantage
is that application is very fast, since the closure
needs only a few degrees of rotation. In contrast,
a normal continuous thread closure might require 360
degrees or more of rotation to affect a seal.
MINIMUM WALL - A term that designates the minimum
thickness of the wall of a container.
MOUTH ø The opening at the top of a bottle
NARROW NECK ø Narrow neck bottles from Alpha
have neck sizes ranging from a 20mm Special Finish
to a 28mm Continuous Thread closure. Narrow neck bottles
are best suited for liquids and lotions, and products
that can be poured or pumped.
NECK - The part of the container where the
bottle cross-section decreases to form the finish.
NECK FINISH ø The plastic surrounding the
opening of a bottle shaped to accommodate a specific
closure. It's the portion of the neck that carries
the threads, lugs or friction fit members to which
the closure is applied, and includes the sealing surface
and sealing bead; generally, the whole portion above
the transfer or pry-off bead. Alpha makes continuous
thread (C/T) necks for twist-on caps, and Hinge-Guard
(J-Cap) necks for snap-on caps.
NECK INSERT - Part of the mold assembly that
forms the neck and finish. Sometimes called the "neck
NECK RING - That part of the mold equipment
that forms the finish of a bottle.
OPAQUE - Descriptive of a material or substance
which will not transmit light.
OVERFLOW CAPACITY - The maximum capacity of
the container to the top of the finish if it was filled
to the very top. This figure allows manufacturers to
determine if their product will fit in a certain bottle
PACKER ø Packers are wide-mouth bottles typically
used for pills, capsules and tablets. Alpha makes several
different styles of packers, including rounds (also
called Pharma Rounds), oblongs (with square bases)
and apothecary styles (with concave shoulder areas)
in both PET and HDPE.
PARISON - The extruded hot plastic tube that
will be placed in a high-density polyethylene mold
to be inflated into a bottle or other hollow form.
PARTING LINE ø The mark on a bottle where two
halves of a mold meet in closing.
PERMEATION - The extent to which a gas or water
vapor passes through a plastic film or container.
PINCH-OFF - A raised edge around the cavity
in the mold, which seals off the part and separates
the excess material as the mold closes around the parison
in the extrusion blow molding operation.
PLA ø Polymerized Lactic Acid ø A corn-based
resin made by NatureWorks PLA that requires significantly
less energy to mold into plastic containers. Many of
Alpha's PET and HDPE molds can be easily converted
to run bottles and jars from this renewable resource.
PLASTIC MEMORY - The tendency of plastics to
return to their original molded form.
PLASTICIZER - A material added during the manufacturing
process to increase flexibility.
PLASTIFIER ø Assembly whereby polymer pellets
are fed from a Hopper into a barrel where they are
melted as they are forced forward along the inside
of the barrel. The melted polymer is then forced out
the end of the barrel through a Nozzle.
POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET) POLYESTER ø T
he most common thermoplastic polyester. PET is a hard,
stiff, strong, and dimensionally stable material that
absorbs very little water. It has good alcohol, solvent
and gas barrier properties and good chemical resistance.
It also has very good oil barrier properties and is
r igid and naturally crystal clear.
POUR-OUT FINISH - A bottle finish having uniform
undercut lips as a dealing surface, to facilitate pouring
PREFORM ø Used in Blow Molding processes.
Heat-softened polymer (such as PET) is formed into
a shape similar to a thick test tube with neck threads.
The tube is subsequently heated and inflated while
inside a Blow Mold to create the shape of the desired
bottle or jar.
PROTOTYPE MOLD - A simplified mold construction
often made from a light-casting alloy or from epoxy
resin in order to obtain information for the final
mold or part design.
PUSH UP - The contour of the bottom of the
plastic container designed in such a manner as to allow
as even bearing surface on outside edge and prevent
the bottle from rocking.
REGRIND - A thermoplastic from a processor's
own production that, having been processed by molding,
extrusion, etc., is then reground or pelletized for
reuse or recycling.
RUNNER - In injection molding, one of the passages
that take plastic melt from the injection point (sprue)
and distribute it to the various cavities in a multicavity
SEALING BEAD - A bead of material that is molded
onto the top of the land area completely around the
top of the neck finish in order to further enhance
the sealing capabilities of the component.
SEAT ø Indentations on the base of a bottle
that help align bottles on filling and decorating lines
so that the bottles are oriented correctly during these
SHELF LIFE - The period of time during which
a product can be stored under specified temperature
and humidity conditions and remain suitable for use.
Shelf life is sometimes called storage life.
SHOULDER ø The sloped area of a bottle or
jar between the neck area and the body of the bottle.
SIFTER TOP - Perforated top on a container
or fitment designed to dispense contents.
SPRAY COATING - A saran or PVDC film, applied
to PET, that dramatically improves gas barrier properties
and allows for lightweight of containers.
SURFACE TREATING - Any method of treating a
plastic so as to alter the surface and render it receptive
to inks, lacquers and adhesives, such as chemical,
flame or electronic treating.
THERMOFORMING - A method of forming plastics
in which a plastic sheet material is heated to a point
where it is soft and pliable. The sheet is then formed
to the desired shape using vacuum, pressure and mechanical
assists or any combination of these.
THERMOPLASTIC ø Material that will repeatedly
soften when heated and harden when cooled, often used
for caps and closures.
THREADS ø On continuous thread styles, the ÒspiralÓ of
plastic onto which a C/T closure is twisted. Different
C/T closure styles feature different numbers of threads.
TORQUE - Twisting force used to either attach
or remove the closure.
U.V. INHIBITOR - A chemical added to a plastic
resin, which absorbs UV light and helps prevent damage
to and prolongs the life of the plastic. Tinuvin compounds
(hindered amine light stabilizers from Ciba-Geigy)
are an example. (See UV STABILIZER).
U.V. STABILIZER (ULTRAVIOLET) - Any chemical
compound which, when admixed with a thermoplastic resin,
selectively absorbs UV rays and minimizes chemical
and/or physical changes that may be caused. (See UV
UNIT CAVITY - A mold with only one cavity,
usually a pilot for the production set of molds.
WALL ø The thickness of the bottle, usually
measured along the side walls. Alpha manufactures some
heavy-wall styles of bottles that offer improved strength
WELD LINES - A visible line created on the
surface of a molded part caused by two flowing streams
of plastic joining with the cavity as the cavity is
WIDE MOUTH ø Containers with large finish
opening or those that have a large finish size in relation
YIELD POINT ø That point beyond which the stresses
applied to a material will cause permanent deformation.