Industry-first virtual trials on lightweighting glass bottles
Ardagh Group has joined forces with two other industry leaders in sustainable solutions for the glass industry, Dassault Systèmes and EXXERGY, to collaborate on innovative technology to increase the strength, and thereby significantly reduce the weight, of glass bottles.
‘Virtual twin’ trials will be launched on Diageo’s Johnnie Walker bottle in January 2022 to research and develop a coating that will enable the glass bottle to be lightweighted without compromising its strength and shape – an industry first.
The virtual trial will pioneer science-based sustainable innovations to reduce the time and cost needed to test glass products, while also reducing the raw materials and energy used in the process. A virtual twin is a real-time digital representation of a product or process that is used to model, visualise and predict new innovations before any physical trials take place. The trial will research and develop a new external coating for the glass bottle to reduce the micro-cracks in the glass surface, which will allow the glass to be much lighter while maintaining its strength. The lightweight glass bottle will maintain its 100% recyclability and if successful in the virtual trial, will undergo glass bottle testing from summer 2022.
Ardagh Group will work with EXXERGY, an international consulting firm active in the renewable and glass sectors, to research and develop the coatings for global beverage leader Diageo. Dassault Systèmes will provide contract research services using its BIOVIA applications to create a nanoscale virtual twin of the coatings, simulate their interaction with the surface of the glass, and test their efficacy.
Glass lightweighting is one of the solutions for reducing the glass sector’s CO₂ impact and carbon emissions will be reduced in both the manufacturing of the bottle and transportation of the finished goods. Should this collaboration project be successful, it will be a major breakthrough for virtual twin technology in supporting the sustainability ambitions of the glass industry and enabling the decarbonisation of the sector as a whole.
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