RPC Group has signed a deal to be the exclusive United Kingdom producer of a newly developed, one-piece, lever-lid PET can.
Raunds, England-based RPC, signed the first commercial license agreement with the company behind the injection stretch blow molded can, Plastic Can Co. plc of Egham, England.
RPC predicts the PET container, produced in a single operation without welding, will have a strong impact on the packaging of solvent-based surface coatings, where plastics have remained an uncompetitive option.
The firm, already Britain's top plastic paint-container maker, plans to make the PET can at its Blackburn plant in England, one of two where it produces plastic paint containers.
Although it describes results to date as highly encouraging, RPC is continuing tests to confirm commercial applications for the can. The firm is ``exploring the possibility of incorporating recycled PET'' in its manufacture.
In developing the container, Plastic Can had to prevent the can's rim from collapsing during injection stretch blow molding. The container now includes an extremely rigid box-section rim with a large undercut, according to RPC.
The can design offers good stacking performance, light weight and resistance to rusting and denting.
RPC is launching the can for solvent-based surface coatings but is studying its use longer term for other markets. It also is examining the feasibility of using different materials for the can.
``We believe this is a significant technological development,'' said Reg Bamber, director and general manager of RPC Containers at Blackburn. ``We are confident the new PET can has a successful long-term commercial future.''