We thought it would be useful to provide those involved in the e-liquid sector with a quick overview of the Injection Blow Moulding process - used by SONE to manufacture our range of e-liquid bottles.
What is Injection Blow Moulding?
The injection blow moulding (IBM) process is used in the manufacture of hollow, plastic objects. It is particularly suited to the production of e-liquid bottles as it produces items of a consistently accurate weight and shape.
The IBM process
- Polymer granules are fed from a hopper into a horizontally moving screw assembly in the IBM machine. The material is melted using temperature controlled heated bands, compressed and then fed in metered amounts into a manifold.
- From there, the melted material is injected through a narrow nozzle into a hollow, pre-heated mould, called a preform. This process produces the fully-formed, threaded neck area of the bottle with a narrow tube of plastic material attached. The tube is the basis for the body of the bottle and is the length of the finished item.
- The premould and the blow mould then open and the core rod, which has defined the internal shape of the preform, rotates from the premould to the blow mould.
- The blow mould closes, and compressed air is blown from the core rod into the preform, inflating it into the finished bottle shape.
- The blow mould then opens and the core rod, which is now holding the fully formed bottle by its neck, rotates to the removal station.
- Finally, the bottle is stripped from the core rod and ejected from the machine as the finished article.
The advantages of the IBM process
- In comparison to other plastic production processes, injection blow moulding produces bottles with a higher level of dimensional accuracy, particularly in the neck area.
- Bottles have an exact weight with an even and precise distribution of plastic material.
- The process is ideal for the production of large quantities of product due to the high level of accurate repeatability from bottle to bottle.