Gardner Technologies Inc., (gardnertechnologies.com), a Napa, Calif., packaging manufacturer has devised a plastic twist-touncork wine opener that will ensure that next bottle of vino opens hassle-free.
The MetaCork consists of a hard plastic capsule with a threaded interior surface, a matching plastic threaded cap, and a natural or synthetic cork fitted with a threaded anchor made from a high-performance PPA (polyphthalamide). Twisting the plastic capsule eases the cork out of the bottle, thanks to mated threads inside the capsule and on the bottle neck.
Once removed, the cork along with the anchor and the top cap can be pushed out of the capsule. The plastic capsule can be returned to the bottle for drip-resistant pouring. The cap can screw back on the bottle for a leak-proof seal.
The Amodel PPA from Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, Alpharetta, Ga. ( solvayadvancedpolymers.com), was key for the anchor design, says Gardner director of engineering Patrick Whelan. "The average breakaway torque required between the anchor and the capsule to extract a natural cork is about 14.5 lb-in. We selected Amodel PPA because it can withstand more than twice that level of torque."
For the Metacork, Gardner chose a 45% glass-reinforced version of the PPA. The polymer has good flow properties, making it easy to mold the threaded anchor and other parts with complicated geometries. The processing window of the PPA is relatively broad, and mold temperatures as low as 150°F can be used.