Virtual trials for lightweighting glass bottles set for 2022Engineering360 News Desk | November 16, 2021
Three industry leaders in sustainable solutions for the glass industry are coming together to collaborate on innovative technology to increase the strength and reduce the weight of glass bottles. Dassault Systèmes (Euronext Paris: FR0014003TT8, DSY.PA), Ardagh Group and EXXERGY will begin "virtual twin" trials 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, visualize 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, a leading global supplier in sustainable packaging solutions, 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, makers of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Gordon’s gin. 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 carbon dioxide 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 breakthrough for virtual twin technology in supporting the sustainability ambitions of the glass industry and enabling the decarbonization of the sector as a whole.