PATEL, Shantu (1280 Hoover Street, Carlsbad, California, 92008, US)
1. A method utilizing a degradable container, comprising:
applying an acrylate to the container.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the acrylate is cured with ultraviolet light.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the degradable container includes a bioplastic resin. 4. The method of claim 3, wherein the proportion by weight of plasticizer to bioplastic resin is from 2 to 28%.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein the proportion by volume of plasticizer to bioplastic resin is from 2 to 28%.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the container includes a bioplastic selected from the group consisting of: PLA, PHA, PHB, PHBH, PBS, PBSA, PCL, PH, CPLA and PVA.
7. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
specifying a stability factor for the container; and
selecting the acrylate so that the acrylate provides the specified stability factor for the container.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the degradable container includes paper.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein the acrylate is adapted for use with consumable materials.
10. The method of claim 1, wherein the acrylate is selected from the group consisting of: tripropylene glycol diacrylate, trimethylolpropane triacrylate, and bisphenol A diglycidal ether diacrylate. PA010-103
11. The method of claim 1, wherein the container is coated with the acrylate.
12. The method of claim 1, wherein the container is coated with the acrylate and then the acrylate is cured with ultraviolet light.
13. A method for improving the permeability of a degradable container, comprising:
applying an ultraviolet-cured acrylate to the container.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the permeability rate of the container for water vapor is less than or equal to 0.5 to 3.0 units, for oxygen is 75 to 1400 units, and for carbon dioxide is 200 to 1800 units.
15. A container, comprising:
a biodegradable material; and
an ultraviolet-cured acrylate applied to the biodegradable material.
16. The container of claim 15, wherein the biodegradable material includes a bioplastic resin or paper.
17. The container of claim 15, wherein the acrylate is adapted for use with consumable materials.
18. A biodegradable material for use with a fluid, comprising:
a biodegradable resin; and
wherein the resin and plasticizer are intermixed to provide a biodegradable material that is generally impermeable to the fluid. PA010-103
19. The material of claim 18, wherein the plasticizer comprises polydimethyl siloxane with filler and auxiliary agents, alkysilicone resin with alko oxy groups with filler and auxiliary agents, isooctyl trimethoxy silane, silicone oxide or silicone dioxide. 20. The material of claim 18, further comprising:
a container that includes the biodegradable material; and
a releasable cap that includes the biodegradable material;
wherein the container and cap cooperate to store the fluid under pressure. 21. A resin, comprising:
an acrylate; and
a curing agent to cure the acrylate;
wherein the resin is adapted to adhere to a degradable material. 22. The resin of claim 21, wherein the resin includes 75% to 85% acrylate.
23. The resin of claim 21, wherein the resin further includes 2% to 15% silicone.
24. The resin of claim 21, wherein the curing agent includes a photoinitiator that, when cured, form a hard coat.
25. The resin of claim 21, wherein the curing agent includes a sensitizer that, when cured, form a hard coat. 26. The resin of claim 21, wherein the curing agent cures the acrylate when the resin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
27. The resin of claim 21, wherein the resin is adapted to adhere to a degradable material selected from the group consisting of from the group consisting of: PLA, PHA, PHB, PHBH, PBS, PBSA, PCL, PH, CPLA, PVA, and paper.
This application claims the benefit of the filing date of United States Patent Application
Number 12/603,395, filed October 21, 2009, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, and United States Patent Application Number 12/709,496, filed February 21, 2010, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention generally relates to containers and more specifically to a biodegradable material and container for fluids.
Plastic bottles are lightweight, can be molded easily at low cost, and are widely used in various industries as containers.
A "bioplastic" can be biodegradable, and is shaped by being formed, molded or extruded into a desired shape.
Biodegradable products may be made from paper or bioplastic, and from biodegradable or bioplastic resins. Bioplastic resins may include polyhydroxyalkonate (PHA), poly 3 hydroxybutrate co 3 hydroxyhexanote (PHBH), polyhydroxybutyrate-co -valerate (PHB/V), poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), cchemical synthetic polymer such as polybutylene succinate (PBS), polybutylene succinate adipate (PBSA), polybutylene succinate carbonate, polycaprolactone (PCL), cellulose acetate (PH), polylactic acid/chemical synthetic polymer such as polylactic polymer (PLA) or copoly-L-lactide (CPLA), and naturally occurring polymer, such as starch modified PVA+aliphatic polyester, or corn starch.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a transparent bioplastic produced from corn, beet and cane sugar. It not only resembles conventional petrochemical mass plastics, such as polyethelene (PE),
polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropene (PP) in its characteristics, but it can also be processed easily on standard equipment that already exists for the production of conventional plastics. PLA and PLA-Blends generally come in the form of PA010-103 granulates with various properties and are used in the plastic processing industry for the production of foil, moulds, cups, bottles and other packaging.
The biopolymer poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) is polyester produced by certain bacteria processing glucose or starch. Its characteristics are similar to those of the petro plastic
polypropylene. The South American sugar industry, for example, has decided to expand PHB production to an industrial scale. PHB is distinguished primarily by its physical characteristics. It produces transparent film at a melting point higher than 130 degrees Celsius, and is biodegradable without residue
Biodegradable resins may be made into products that are relatively rigid with good transparency, and thus use of these resins may be appropriate for rigid molded products, such as bioplastic bottles and containers. These biodegradable resins, however, have poor permeability characteristic, in reference to water, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Thus a plasticizer is used to overcome the permeability issues.
A biodegradable bottle that holds fluids or carbonated drinks should provide a structure capable of withstanding the pressures resulting from several volumes of carbonation. This is made more difficult when the ambient temperature is high; partly as result of the thermoplastic nature of the bioplastic and partly as a result of the solubility of carbon dioxide in the beverage decreasing with increasing temperature. Failure of bottles under pressure tends to occur at the base. Typically, the bioplastic material in the base creeps and so is gradually extended.
Domed, generally hemispherical shapes like that of a pressure vessel is not inherently stable regarding tipping, and so the base must be provided with a flat bottomed outer base cup so that the bottle can stand upright.
Clear or translucent grade silicone liquid rubber or plasma, that is hypoallergenic, may be used in a variety of applications. Silicone characteristics include superb chemical resistance, high temperature performance, good thermal, long-term resiliency, and easy fabrication. It also possesses excellent UV resistance. This material is low volatile, peroxide free and does not discolor over time.
Silicone is odorless, tasteless, chemically inert and non-toxic. It offers all FDA approved ingredients, including low compression set and fungus resistance.
Paper and PLA have been coated in the past with various ultraviolet curable materials for uses such as: transactions cards, packaging and wrapping films. PA010-103
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In one aspect of the present invention, a method utilizing a degradable container includes applying an acrylate to the container.
In another aspect of the present invention, a method for improving the permeability of a degradable container includes applying an ultraviolet-cured acrylate to the container.
In yet another aspect of the present invention, a container includes a biodegradable material; and an ultraviolet-cured acrylate applied to the biodegradable material.
In yet another aspect of the present invention, a biodegradable material for use with a fluid includes a biodegradable resin; and a plasticizer; wherein the resin and plasticizer are intermixed to provide a biodegradable material that is generally impermeable to the fluid.
In yet another aspect of the present invention, a resin includes an acrylate; and a curing agent to cure the acrylate; wherein the resin is adapted to adhere to a degradable material.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 depicts a front view of an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 depicts a bottom view of an embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 4 depicts an oblique view of an embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The preferred embodiment and other embodiments, including the best mode of carrying out the invention, are hereby described in detail with reference to the drawings. Further embodiments, features and advantages will become apparent from the ensuing description or may be learned without undue experimentation. The figures are not drawn to scale, except where otherwise indicated. The following description of embodiments, even if phrased in terms of "the invention," is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but describes the manner and process of making and using the PA010-103 invention. The coverage of this patent will be described in the claims. The order in which steps are listed in the claims does not indicate that the steps must be performed in that order.
An embodiment of the present invention generally provides a biodegradable bottle to stably maintain the quality of contents that is capable of being subjected to waste disposal after use, lessening any adverse effect on the natural environment. Embodiments may hold solids or fluids such as, but not limited to, carbonated drinks, water, juices, milk, medicinal products, household fluids, and toiletries, cosmetic, automotive, marine and industrially used fluids. Size and shapes may vary based on fluid type and volume, from 2 oz. to over 140 oz. An embodiment of the present invention utilizes a bioplastic material, has a high rigidity and a good transparency.
A first embodiment of a bioplastic material includes a single, composite layer of bioplastic resin mixed with plasticizer. This embodiment may be provided as a resin, which can be formed into the desired shape. In this embodiment, the plasticizer and resin cooperate to form a bioplastic material that may be generally impermeable to fluids. The bioplastic resin may, for example, be PLA, PHA, PHB, PHBH, PBS, PBSA, PCL, PH, CPLA or PVA. The plasticizer is may be a silicone such as, but not limited to, polydimethyl siloxane with filler and auxiliary agents, alkysilicone resin with alko oxy groups with filler and auxiliary agents and isooctyl trimethoxy silane or silicone oxide, and silicone dioxide. The bioplastic resin and silicone may be mixed to form a new resin. This resin may have been shown to have improved barrier properties, resulting in permeability rates to less than or equal to 0.5-3 units for water vapor, oxygen to 75-1400 units, and carbon dioxide 200-1800 units, measured; at g-mil/100 square inch per day for water at 100% RH, and cc- mill/100 sq inch day atm @ 20 degree Celsius and 0% RH for at 100% oxygen and carbon dioxide.
In an embodiment of the present invention, paper and bio plastics resins (namely, for example, PLA, PHA, PHB, PHBH, PBS, PBSA, PCL, PH, CPLA and PVA) may be coated with ultraviolet curable acrylates to form a bio degradable container. Some of these ultraviolet curable acrylates are suitable for storing consumable materials and are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, namely tripropylene glycol diacrylate, trimethylolpropane triacrylate, and bisphenol A diglycidal ether diacrylate. Other ultraviolet cured materials might not be FDA approved, but could still be used to coat a biodegradable container.
Embodiments of a bottle may be constructed using any one or combination of the following or other processes: PA010-103
A. adding plasticizers in 2 to 28% range (by weight) to a biodegradable resin to form a new polymer that may be highly (or generally) impermeable to fluids; or
B. lining a biodegradable resin with a membrane made of silicone hard coat resin or liquid rubber.
An embodiment of the present invention may relate to a bottle's properties. The bottle construction may add permeability, flexibility, durability and improved barrier properties, thereby increasing the diversity of the products it can hold or store, generally termed fluids. These fluids include but are not limited to, water, carbonated drinks, fluids, and juices to pills and corrosive materials. Each product the bottle is designed to hold may have its own unique stability factor. The above mentioned design options A and B, but not limited to these designs, may incorporate the stability factor in the design requirements, thereby maintaining the quality of the contents.
In an embodiment, using a biodegradable resin the bottle is formed by blow molding a hollow perform, or is molded by extrusion injection process, and then finished into a bottle which has a desired appearance by blow molding such as direct blow molding, biaxial stretching blow molding, or extrusion, etc. This same bottle can also be made from paper that is biodegradable, or a material that is otherwise photodegradable or degradable, by giving the appropriate shape and mould.
As depicted in the embodiments of FIG. 1, an embodiment 10 of the present invention is a container 12 for storing a fluid that may include a liquid 14 and a gas 16, the container 12 having walls 18 (also depicted in FIGS. 1A and IB) made of a biodegradable material, and a cap 20, also made of a biodegradable material.
FIG. 1A depicts an embodiment of a composite wall 18A having a composite casing 22 made of a biodegradable composite polymer, prepared by intermixing a biodegradable resin and a plasticizer together.
FIG. IB depicts an embodiment of a layered wall 18B having an inner coating 24 of silicone plasma, silicone hard coat resin or liquid rubber and an outer wall 26 of polymer, consisting of biodegradable resin and plasticizer, or vice versa. An outer base 26 of biodegradable material is formed, possibly by blow-molding or extrusion, and then an inner coating 24 of silicone is applied to provide a surface intended for contact with the fluid. The silicone may be a silicone hard coat resin or liquid rubber coated applied onto the bioplastic resin. PA010-103
FIG. 2 depicts a front view of an embodiment of the present invention, FIG. 3 depicts a bottom view of FIG. 2 taken along line 60, and FIG. 4 depicts an oblique view of an embodiment. An embodiment 30 includes a container 32 for storing a liquid or solid 34, with an inner casing 36, a biodegradable outer casing 38, or vice versa and a biodegradable cap 40. The container 32 may be in the shape of a bottle, having an upper portion 42 including a neck 44, shoulder 46, and a generally cylindrical main body portion including a side wall 48 and a base 50. The inner casing 36 may include an inner membrane made from silicone hard coat resin or liquid rubber, respectively, on the food contact surface. The base 50 includes four to seven angularly spaced downwardly projecting feet 52, generally parallel-sided straps 54 between the feet 52, and a central area 56 defining a smooth domed generally pressure-vessel-shaped surface 58. This surface 58 may be roughly hemispherical to help withhold high pressures and avoid creep, but the central area 56 may be flat. The surface 58 may be entirely convex or flat, as seen from outside with no re-entrant portions.
In an embodiment, the bottom of the bottle may have somewhat greater thickness than the sidewall of the body of the bottle, to help have greater strength and resistance to gas permeation. Other embodiments have different shapes of the bottom may change, to accommodate the stress of the liquid and gas pressure in the bottle. If the liquid contents under elevated pressure do not distort the flat bottom of the bottle or make it fracture, the bottle may remain steady and not topple.
In an embodiment, the bottle may be fabricated by blow-molding or extruding bioplastic resins. These resins may be applied, with or without a plasticizers added.
An embodiment may improve on the permeability of bioplastic resins, by adding plasticizers, including (but not limited to), polydimethyl siloxane with filler and auxiliary agents, alkysilicone resin with alko oxy groups with filler and auxiliary agents, isooctyl trimethoxy silane, silicone oxide, and silicone dioxide in the range of 2 to 28%. The plasticizers are added to the bio plastic resin to form a biodegradable polymer, with improved barrier and permeability properties, to fluids, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The proportions of the plasticizers mixed would range from 2 to 28% total volume or weight. The ratio may be varied to the desired permeability and barrier properties to be attained, based on each application.
In embodiments, in order to improved gas barrier, a silicone hard coat resin or liquid rubber membrane may be applied, inside or outside to a structure that has already been formed with the biodegradable polymer or resin or paper. PA010-103
In an embodiment, a silicone hard coat resin may be applied to the inside or outside of a bioplastic container. Silicone hard coat resin has been found to yield a clear, mar-resistant film when applied to a suitably prepared bioplastic resin. The silicone hard coat can be applied by flow, dip, spin, or spray coating, and may utilize or require ultraviolet or electron beam curing. The hard coat may give primerless adhesion to paper and bioplastic resin that are cast, extruded, blow, stretch or injection molded. An embodiment of the resin may offer mar-resistance, high gloss, and protection from chemical attack.
An embodiment of a silicone hard coat resin may include, for example, a mixture of silicone 2% to 15% or acrylates 75% to 85% or both, and a curing agent including a photoinitiator or sensitizer or both. The thickness of an embodiment of a hard coat may be, for example, 5 nm to 80 nm. The acrylates may include, but are not limited to, tripropylene glycol diacrylate,
trimethylolpropane triacrylate, ethoxylated trimethylolpropane triacrylate, hexamethylene diacrylate, bisphenol A diglycidal ether diacrylate, aromatic urethane acrylate, alkoxylated hexanediol diacrylate, trifunctional acid ester acrylate, alkoxylated phenol acrylate, polyester acrylate, tricyclodene dimethanol diacrylate, and dipentaerythitol pentaacrylate. In embodiments, different or unique stability factors may be used in bottles depending on the products to be stored in the bottle. A hard coat may be prepared around this stability factor using an acrylate such as, but not limited to, the acrylates mentioned above, and could include other epoxy, polyester, silicone, or urethane based acrylates.
An embodiment of a hard coat may include a mixture of silicone and/or acrylates, and a photo initiator and/or sensitizer with adhesion properties to work with bioplastic resins and paper, or other degradable containers. An embodiment of a hard coat may be applied to bioplastic resins, paper, or other degradable containers using ultraviolet or electron beam radiation curing methods. A resin may be utilized to coat the container, and when the resin is cured, the coating will become hard.