Glass Packaging

Origin offer a range of glass pharmaceutical containers manufactured from a selection of different types of glass, available in a variety of colours and sizes. All our glass has been tested to conform to international pharmacopoeias; the British Pharmacopoeia (BP), the United States Pharmacopoeia – USP (660) and the European Pharmacopoeia – Ph. Eur. Ed Chapter 3.2.1.

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Our Glass Products Come in Three Different Types, Which Are:

  • Type I – Borosilicate Glass
  • Type II – Soda Lime Glass (surface treated)
  • Type III – Soda Lime Glass

For Type I glass, we combine limestone, soda ash, and other natural substances with approximately 70% of sand to produce virgin glass quantities of these additives, which vary depending on the required properties of the glass being made.

When producing soda lime glass (Type II and III), the addition of recycled crushed glass (known as cullet) is added to the mixture. Cullet helps to decrease melting temperatures and therefore reduces the energy required and the materials required to manufacture glass.

We do not use heat-resistant glass known as ‘borosilicate glass’ in the recycling process because its melting temperature is different to that of Soda lime glass, and causes the viscosity of the liquid glass to change during melting.

Our Techniques for the Production Quality Glass Containers

Our moulded glass products are made from a process of blowing and/or pressing glass. A moulding machine forces air in to globs of heated glass, thereby creating a vessel with the general container shape. Our ‘parison’ tube shape is then manipulated using additional processes to create the desired container shape.

For narrow containers, additional processes are known as ‘Blow and Blow Press’ – the parison is formed using compressed air to form the neck finish and shape. A ‘Press & Blow Process’ is used for forming containers with a larger diameter, this involves pressing the glass against a mould with a metal plunger, which is inserted and then air is forced into the product afterwards to ensure a consistent shape.

With the introduction of the ‘Vacuum Assist Process’ technology, the ’Press & Blow Process’ is now also used for containers with a smaller mouth diameter. The advantages of this are numerous and include the ability to manufacture strong yet lightweight containers.

The formation of tubing glass uses the ‘Vello of Danner process’, which ensures the desired diameter and thickness of the glass is archived by drawing the glass back and forth across rollers.

Safety Assured: Our Conditioning Process for Glass Products

Conditioning the glass is a vital step, as glass is actually not a solid but a super cooled liquid. When glass is formed into rigid containers extreme stresses build up within it, and after the containers are created the temperature of the glass needs to be raised once again to remove these stresses. All our containers are placed in an Annealing Lehr, heated to around 1500℉, and slowly cooled to below 900℉. This process greatly improves the strength of our glass products and reduces the risk of shattering substantially.

A tin oxide-based mixture, or polyethylene coating, is applied to the surface of the glass to prevent breakage by abrasion. This mixture is sprayed on the hot surface (hot end treatment) of the glass, this causes a reaction and produces a resilient tin oxide coating. By applying this coating to the surface, the bottles do not stick together, and thus prevent breakage.

After, the glass is treated to a ‘cold end treatment’: prior to application of a second coat the glass containers temperature is reduced to between 225-275℉. This extra coating can be washed off from the surface, whereas the hot end treatment causes a reaction with the surface of the glass and cannot be removed by washing.

Finally, an internal treatment known as “Internal Fluorination Treatment” (IFT), the process that makes Type III glass into Type II glass, is applied to the glass to prevent bloom. Glass containers used in the pharmaceutical industry that use these processes include Sirop Bottles (Blow and Blow) and (Press and Blow) Powder Jars Glass Containers.