John Cain, 29th April 2021
In this week’s blog, we outline the environmental benefits that can be achieved using Rockfield’s latest technology for glass forming and stress analysis – simulating both round and non-round containers – within Elfen gd3D.
With ever-increasing pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint and transportation costs, businesses are realising the benefits of glass.
Being 100% recyclable, glass is a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging. And design optimisation and weight reduction are a natural way to achieve significant savings in the manufacture of glass products.
But why our obsession with glass? Is it really so much better for the environment than plastic?
According to sources, only 9% of plastics are currently recycled, yet the chemical industries are investing over $400 billion in new plants aimed at producing new plastics rather than investing in technologies to increase recyclability.
Since this limited recyclability means existing products either end up in the oceans, landfills, or being incinerated, glass does appear to be more environmentally friendly.
Glass is endlessly recyclable, back to its original use. It never loses its quality and purity, no matter how many times you recycle it.
However, glass is much more fragile than plastic in its finished form, making it susceptible to breakage during transit. Glass containers are also more expensive to transport than plastic equivalents due to their increased weight.
That is where Rockfield’s latest software product, Elfen gd3D, helps by advancing the prediction of lifecycle performance of new formed containers.
Elfen gd3D is ground-breaking software that provides both forming and stress simulation of both round and non-round containers.
Some 30 years ago, Rockfield began collaborating with International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR), which led the way on the future of glass technologies.
Today, Elfen gd software is trusted by over 20 global glass companies, aiding them in product design by helping them create the right design first time.
Users can employ the software to design and then virtually form a container – using either the NNPB (narrow neck press & blow) or BB (blow & blow) method.
Then, they can put the virtually simulated container through its paces with a static and dynamic stress simulation – from head loading to filling line collision to the stresses and potential breakages typically encountered during transportation.
With this approach, Elfen gd3D helps reduce the number of expensive trial containers that must be fabricated. This increases the productivity of the glass plant by minimizing the number of trial runs needed to achieve a satisfactory design for the customer.
Consequently, this also helps reduce CO2 emissions that are an inevitable by-product from operating a large glass plant.
Help us make glass the number one container for hygiene and recyclability by making Elfen gd3D an essential part of your integrated workflow.
To demonstrate our belief in the Elfen gd3d product, we are partnering with Glass Technology Services to deliver a webinar on May 19th. Rockfield’s CTO, Adam Bere, will join Nick Kirk, Technical Director of Glass Technology Services to discuss how proactive glass bottle design can reduce the risk of technical problems later down the line.
They will examine the steps brand owners and glass manufacturers can take to reduce risk during the design process, including what to look for in a design review, FEA (Finite Element Analysis) modelling, and the types of pilot trials and testing that help give customers increased confidence in their products once they reach the market.
Click here to register for the webinar: https://campaigns.glass-ts.com/bottle-design-rockfield
Rockfield provides market-leading software and solutions for the energy, nuclear, and container glass industries. They operate at the cutting edge of numerical modelling utilising full-physics approaches to continuously enhance their proprietary software suite, Elfen.
About Glass Technology Services
GTS is a leading provider of analysis, mechanical, and performance testing, due diligence support, quality assessment, failure analysis, research and development, and technical consultancy, specialising in glass and glass products.
Through its design assessment services, GTS provides critique of glass products at the early design, trial, or production stage and advises on design features that will influence the mechanical strength of the finished product.