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APT_PACK Report Summary

Project ID: 505204
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: France

Final Report Summary - APT_PACK (Advanced knowledge of Polymer deformation for Tomorrow's PACKaging)

The long-term objective of the project was the definition of a global strategy for optimising stretched plastic packaging (thermoforming, stretch blow moulding). To compensate for the lack of basic understanding that strongly inhibits durable improvements, scientific objective is promoting attainments and applications of fundamental knowledge.

The project focused on the three types of polymers used in this area: amorphous, semi-crystalline and initially amorphous that crystallise during forming. To allow long-term improvement, significant efforts are devoted to physically based approaches.

Main project direct outputs are:
- advanced knowledge in the field of polymers stretching;
- proposal of relevant physically based constitutive models;
- development of high velocity multi-axial loading tests in the range of thermoforming and blowing;
- advanced knowledge in the field of microstructure development;
- proposal of physically based constitutive models for end-use properties;
- advanced knowledge in the field of processing, including heating, stretching and cooling;
- proposal for next generation numerical codes for design.

The consortium agreed on defining main materials to be studied and supplied them for all the project duration. These materials are industrial grades especially designed either for stretch blow moulding or for thermoforming. Representative industrial parts, specific moulds (one for PET, one for PP), associated preforms and systems for data acquisition during processing are available. A significant data base now exists on actual heating, thermal contact, loading histories and friction in processing, which will improve fundamental knowledge in processing and validations of numerical simulations.

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