Plastic aerosols manufacturing – Small guide about plastic aerosol
Plastic aerosols manufacturing – Are metal cans living their last days? No, obviously not. It is way too early to assume such thing. However, plastic aerosol presents advantages that will make it more popular in the coming years and even earlier than that. One of the first forecoming sign of this trend is the work of big multinational corporations to launch products with this packaging. For example, it has already been the case with Unilever and their famous Febereze. In 2017, they have launched products with plastic aerosol can for the US market. The second sign of this new trend is the availability of the components among the Big 5 of valves’s manufacturer ( Coster, Lindal, Precision, Summit, Aptar). They all possess or are developing specific valves for plastic can.
What are the advantages offered by plastic aerosols manufacturing ?
Creativity in the shapes ! To offer an aluminium can with shape, the MOQs are important. The shapes for the plastic can are the main angle to conquer the aerosol market.
Offer a transparent can. It is one of the visually striking difference with metal cans. The consumer can directly see through what’s inside of the can. With a metal can, this is impossible.
The total weight of the aerosol. Plastic cans are significantly lighter than metal can. Here again, the consumer experience is positively modified and offer a real differentiation factor.
Now that we have seen the advantages, let’s have a look on the aspect of these plastic cans and also the technologies already available.
Technologies in place for plastic aerosol manufacturing
One of the world reference on this market is the US company Plastipak, which is the biggest manufacturer of plastic can in the world. Their webpage offer a very good overview of all the possibilities offered by plastic aerosol.
Coster and its new product Airnext (see picture on the left): a brand new bag-on-valve system coming with a plastic can and directly integrated with a diffuser.
Airopack and its unique and patented system of filling. While filling you create void and pressure with a piston inside the can. This is a very similar to bag-on-valve (i.e. the famous same but different), it is also propelled by air.
As it is only just the beginning of plastic aerosol, we have selected a few ideas. For sure, in the near future, the technology should evolve.
Limits of plastic aerosol filling ? How to know if my product is compatible with plastic aerosol ?
Plastic aerosol is not a silver bullet and can not be used for all the products. Indeed, there are some limits to take into account.
First important rule: all the aerosols with dimethylether as propellant are not eligible to plastic can. Indeed, you have higher risk of leaks.
Of course, caution is a must before launching new products. With these new aerosols, it is better to really test inside out the products before launching. Some aerosols may not be compatible with plastic aerosol, when they are perfectly fine with a metal can…
As with every aerosol, we always recommend to take the testing of a new product very seriously, to avoid uncenessary surprises.
Painting of the can – so far, we have not seen painted can. All the decoration of the cans we’ve seen were made with sleevers. From our information, it may be possible to paint directly on the can, but we haven’t seen the result yet. Of course, we’ll update this article if the situation changes.
Good to know : the can resist a 27 bars pressure. In the case of a fall, the can resist a fall of up to 1,80m high ( which leaves some margin, even for clumsy people…)
Why plastic aerosol hasn’t emerged yet at global scale ?
These next few lines are a Proersa opinion and must be considered as such. We think there is a huge work to be done to update and harmonize the different international standards on the globe. Even if on paper, it seems rather simple to accept plastic aerosols as traditional metallic aerosol. From a regulatory perspective, arguably for transport and warehousing, we are on process with a longer time scale.
At the moment, the real trigger for this packaging has come from the US with Febreze, and they have managed to get it launched nationwide. Needless to say their legal and regulatory experts have made a fantastic job.
For example, at European Union scale, the EU authorities consider plastic aerosol as glass aerosol. There is a limit for the content and it must be between 50 and 220ml.
Finally, we can assume that once the legal and regulatory work has been done, this packaging will gain momentum. Technology and component are already here and ready to use.
If you are looking for innovations for your packagings, PROERSA already owns turn-key formula available for plastic aerosols.
PROERSA AEROSOLES, S.A.U. is a European market leader for aerosol filling. Since 1969, we dedicate ourselves exclusively to private label.
We make the aerosol manufacturing process easy for you. We can offer you a turn-key solution ( Full-service) or just help you on specific operations. Our services include R&D, formulation, manufacturing of concentrate, filling and assembling of the components.
If you want to develop a new aerosol product, but you have no idea where to start, you will find with the following link an article explaining you all the key steps of developing an aerosol and how to put together an efficient retroplanning. The 5 key steps of an aerosol development and efficient retroplanning.
Certainly, if you have an interest for aerosol packaging, please have a read at our latest article about ADF PCD 2019. We make a presentation of the best aerosol packaging innovations seen on the show.
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If this article has been helpful and/or you wish to receive more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org . It will be our pleasure to help you.
The PROERSA Team.