France-based production equipment manufacturer Sidel has unveiled amorphous carbon treatment on internal surface (Actis), a new solution for use in its Matrix platform.

Actis is a thin layer of hydrogen-rich carbon deposited inside a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle.

Capable of extending the shelf life of PET bottles, the Actis plasma coating solution helps to maintain the amount of carbon dioxide in carbonated soft drink (CSD) bottles.

"Actis process is also simpler and less expensive than other coating technologies, because it is based on acetylene gas."

The solution can also be used as an integrated configuration on Sidel’s Matrix platform, which features Matrix Combi equipment.

As part of the configuration, Actis can be applied in various blowing, coating and filling arrangements in bottling and converter lines.

Developed for bottle diameters up to 78mm, Sidel Actis can help produce up to 40,000 bottles per hour.

Sidel carbonated soft drinks category marketing director Damien Fournier said: “In terms of the barrier technologies available, the Actis coating clearly stands out from other processes like co-injection (multilayer) or plastic blends (chemical additives to improve the properties of PET), when material cost, lightweighting and recyclability are considered.

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“Actis process is also simpler and less expensive than other coating technologies, because it is based on acetylene gas – widely available on the market – rather than requiring complex concentrates and settings.

“The maintenance frequency and time involved to keep the line up to speed are similar to that required for a standard bottling line.”

So far, 28 Actis systems have been used to produce nearly five billion bottles requiring barrier protection worldwide.