ATMI develops ‘rigid liner in bottle’ liquid containment system


BrightPak is a value-added alternative for storing and dispensing chemicals

ATMI has developed a liquid dispensing and delivery system featuring a collapsible rigid liner inside a bottle that it says will change the way sensitive chemicals and other products are delivered.

The US-based provider of ultra-clean film products and single-use systems and packaging for the life science and semiconductor industries says BrightPak is a value-added alternative to large glass bottles and other traditional systems that store and dispense photolithography chemicals used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, LEDs and flat panel displays. ATMI is offering these delivery systems to chemical suppliers who seek improved safety and performance with cost benefits.

To help create a commercially viable package from an innovative design, ATMI relied on Plastic Technologies (PTI), a package engineering firm with experience in advanced manufacturing techniques and tailored production process development. Together, the companies overcame multiple structural and production challenges.

The interior rigid liner collapses at low pressure without tearing

The interior rigid liner collapses at low pressure without tearing

The BrightPak system’s primary components are created from two separate preforms. The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) preform is used to blow-mould a bottle with a capacity of 4.6 litres. The second preform is made from polyethylene naphthalate (PEN) and is used to create the rigid, three-dimensional collapsible interior ‘liner’ which holds the chemicals.

The interior rigid liner needed to collapse at low pressure without tearing, be compatible with various chemicals and dispense 99% of the product. The bottle around it had to withstand six times the dispensing pressure (greater than 90lb/in2) to provide an additional safety cushion.

Additionally, the system needed to withstand shipping and storage conditions down to –20°F and also block out 99.9% of light from 190–425nm, which is in the ultraviolet (UV)-to-visible range. The inner PEN and outer PET (with amber colorant) components deliver that.

However, one of the biggest issues was the ‘ship in a bottle’ challenge of how to place the rigid inner PEN liner into the outer PET bottle. PTI, with its 25 years of plastics engineering expertise, found a proprietary solution.

‘PTI was an excellent development partner for our BrightPak product. We worked together to create a system that was commercially viable and economically feasible,’ said Chris Kramer, ATMI’s Senior Vice President of Materials Solutions.

‘BrightPak technology is an innovation that reduces customer risk and delivers improved safety and performance.’

The two-piece assembly fits into a third component – a blow-moulded, full-body PET ‘base cup’. Because the PET bottle has structural panels which make labelling challenging, the textured full body cup facilitates branding options and also provides a stable base for the bottle’s slightly rounded bottom. Its amber colour provides another layer of UV and shipping protection.

We worked together to create a system that was commercially viable and economically feasible

The BrightPak package dispenses liquids using pressure (direct or indirect) or pump systems. It is designed to eliminate the sources of bubble formation and particle defects caused by pump and vacuum delivery containers. Drive gas can be applied between the rigid liner and the bottle. Once in this space, the pressure from the gas squeezes the rigid liner causing it to collapse and force the chemical out of the bottle. The system dispenses the chemical through a sealed pathway from the liner to the dispensing tool. It also protects the chemical contents from external contamination. The rigid liner eventually collapses fully and ensures optimal dispensing results.

The BrightPak ‘double containment system’ offers users multiple benefits, including approximately 21% additional volume compared with the typical one-gallon glass bottle used in lithography applications today. The higher fill volume is possible without having an impact on the labelling surface, the position of the handle, or the physical dimension of storage and usage locations.

Additional advantages include chemical protection from environmental factors, as well as accidents and operator errors. Unlike glass bottles, the BrightPak system is made from shatter-resistant plastic resins minimising the potential for costly chemical spills and production shutdowns.

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Potential markets for the BrightPak include adhesives, pharmaceuticals, food, beverage and others. The resin used for each layer can be altered depending on performance requirements.