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Direct processing of rPET in injection molding

Solutions for injection molding thin-wall PET and rPET packaging

We are expanding applications of PET and rPET in injection molding: Thanks to the high-performance injection unit of the e-speed machine, you can produce thin-walled containers from recycled PET in just one production step. This enables cost-effective recycling and upcycling of PET bottles and the use of 100% rPET for food packaging.

Why and how to process rPET in injection molding?
Avoid potential fines and special taxes with rPET
Picture shows a thin-wall rPET packaging made of used PET bottles
Take advantage of the established PET recycling stream

PET is currently the only packaging plastic that can be reused in large quantities as recycled material to produce rPET food packaging. With our technology, you can economically process and even upcycle rPET in injection molding. In addition to bottle-to-bottle, we also enable a bottle-to-cup cycle. By using rPET, you can produce thin-wall packaging without the threat of potential penalty taxes.

Injection molding ready-to-fill PET packaging in one step
Picture shows tool area of an e-speed with injection mold for thin-walled containers made of rPET
High-performance injection unit of the ENGEL e-speed enables direct processing of PET and rPET

With our e-speed injection molding machine, you can produce ready-to-fill, labeled containers economically in just a single process step. It's extremely dynamic injection unit achieves a maximum speed of up to 1,400 mm/s and an injection pressure of up to 2,600 bar. This allows PET and rPET to be injected directly into thin-walled molds. The time-consuming molding and blow molding of thick-walled preforms is no longer necessary.

Labeling of rPET packaging according to national regulations
Picture shows two food packages made of rPET with different labels
rPET is suitable for various material cycles

The legal regulations for recycling labeled plastic packaging can vary considerably. Thin-walled containers made of rPET are compatible with various label materials, allowing them to be produced in compliance with the requirements of target markets.

Short cycle times and low wall thicknesses in the processing of rPET in injection molding
Picture shows e-speed injection molding machine from ENGEL
Thanks to the high-performance injection molding machine e-speed

Our e-speed series is designed for reliable performance. The machine enables you to economically produce thin-wall packaging thanks to maximum output and reduced material usage. You can achieve cycle times of under 2 seconds and extreme flow path to wall thickness ratios. This is ensured by powerful plates and drives. Our e-speed machine is the best choice when it comes to processing rPET in injection molding.

Products and solutions for rPET processing in injection molding
Picture shows thin-walled plastic part produced by thin-wall injection molding

Thin-wall injection molding

Benefit from our many years of expertise in injection molding of thin-wall packaging.

Picture shows injection molding machine for the production of thin-walled plastic parts

Injection molding machine for thin-walled plastic parts

e-speed

The hybrid, fast injection molding machine for thin-wall packaging with extreme flow path to wall thickness ratios.

Picture shows logo for plastics recycling from ENGEL

Circular Economy & plastics recycling

Get an overview of our services for recyclate processing and Circular Economy.

FAQ about rPET injection molding

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved numerous recycling processes for PET, making rPET available in large quantities in Europe. PET is currently the only packaging plastic that can be recycled into food packaging on an industrial scale. ENGEL already offers a complete and production-ready solution for injection molding of thin-wall packaging made of rPET.

In addition to the possibility of using up to 100% recyclate, PET has several advantages:

  • Drop, breakage and load tests revealed significantly greater resistance compared to PP.

  • PET exhibits approximately 20 times higher barrier properties against oxygen, ensuring longer food freshness.

  • The barrier effect can be further improved with an additional EVOH layer.

Both PET and PP labels can be used in the in-mold labelling process for products made of PET. To prevent the transparent PET from mixing with the color pigments of the label during the subsequent recycling process, labels with washable colors or labels that detach and float during the washing process can optionally be used. This means that thin-wall PET packaging complies with EU and US recycling guidelines.

Our experience shows that processing PET and rPET in injection molding directly works smoothly up to a flow path to wall thickness ratio of 1:240. For larger ratios, the component’s geometry and the material’s intrinsic viscosity significantly impact process stability. We would be happy to advise you in detail.

The direct processing of PET into thin-walled products requires significantly higher injection pressures of up to 2200 bar. Furthermore, the processing temperature, in comparison to PP and PS is higher exceeding 280°C. Modifications are necessary in order to use molds designed for processing PP or PS for injection molding PET packaging.

More information and details on direct processing of PET and rPET in injection molding can be found in the ePaper of the Kunststoffe magazine. You can also contact us using the contact form.

Your contact person for rPET injection molding
Picture shows Global Key Account Manager Packaging at ENGEL Austria

We have developed a market-ready complete solution for the efficient production of thin-wall packaging from PET and rPET. I am available for any questions and concerns on this topic.

Johannes Hinterdorfer, Global Key Account Manager Packaging at ENGEL Austria
Would you like to utilize the potential of PET and rPET for your products?

Benefit from our extensive expertise.

Application in the food industry: direct processing of rPET in injection molding

The video shows an example of the use of rPET food packaging. In thin-wall injection molding, the containers are manufactured and labeled in a single process step. They leave the production line ready for filling.

Video shows the injection molding of thin-walled rPET plastic parts >

Our rPET injection molding cell in pictures

Markus Lettau

Molding Industry Business Advisor

+1 (717) 767 2016

Write us

The ENGEL team is happy to support you with extensive knowledge in the field of injection molding.

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