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Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/24/2008 9:05 AM

I am looking for and existing device that could allow me to drain bottles that range in fullness and are plastic welded closed. The bottle is not intended to be salvaged for repeat filling after draining, but there will be fluid within the bottle. The fumes of the contents are potentially harmful to operators and draining operations will take place under a vented hood. We have a low volume operation that is currently carried out by one employee who is armed with a razor-knife and nose-plugs.

I had envisioned a reciprocating punch or spike on a sloped drain table, but to tear through the plastic might take too much downward force at the end of that 20+" punch/spike.

A traditional metal can punch requires the can/bottle sidewalls to take the force of the punch operation, and I will be draing different gauge plastic bottles.

Plastic memory will require a specially designed punch or tearing of the bottle.

Cheers!

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#1

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/24/2008 12:46 PM

Before cardboard cartons came with those molded in pour spouts there was an ingenious design using a helical screw that would punch through the body (top) and allow drainage from its spout through its hollow core.

I believe I have seen a similar product somewhere a few years back made from 316ss to do a similar function.

Now why would the spike need to be 20" long? All you would need is one just long and sharp enough to pierce the wall through which you drain the bottle.

The other solution is a portable saw or drill that is air driven to open the bottles and a bracket to hold the things in place while cutting. These are easily sourced from any industrial supplier of air tools.

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#2

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/24/2008 1:15 PM

You could possibly use a saddle valve that you can find at a local hardware store. These are usually used to run the water from an existing PVC cold water line to the back of a refrigerator for the ice maker/water dispenser. There would have to be some retrofitting with maybe a large pipe clamp or something depending on the diameter of the bottle. From what you described, this is the way I would go.

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/24/2008 1:52 PM

This helical screw just acts as a tap? Then the tap needs to be removed after emptying. Seems more labor intensive than the exacto-knife that is used now.

A modified crown punch can opener was something i was looking into...somehow punching a port for fluid exit, depending on the modification of the punch and the rigidity of a particular bottle, might it work?

I am more convinced that a fluted spike to just smash the bottle down over would suffice.

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#4
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Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bott

07/25/2008 8:03 AM

"...there was an ingenious design using a helical screw that would punch through the body (top) and allow drainage from its spout through its hollow core."

Similar items are made to screw into lemons - check a fancy kitchen supply place for ones in stainless. See http://www.recipetips.com/ and find "citrus trumpet."

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#5

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/25/2008 1:41 PM

The suggestion of a citrus trumpet may or not be a good one - you'd have to try one to see if it cuts into the plastic bottles as well as it does lemon peel. But they run about $5US each, so it's not a heavy investment. And even if it doesn't work you can always make lemonade...

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#6

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

07/28/2008 2:46 AM

I have seen a pop can squasher at Harbor Freight if modified would work. If you want to collect the fluid it could be mounted inside an old pressure cooker. Tap it and add a drain port to carry the fluid away. Now getting to the punchering, a spike could be welded to the bottom of the press so the bottle bottom would be pearced when compressed on to the spike. If you need a press for larger bottles, copy the design into a larger form.

Griff

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#7

Re: Draining a welded-closed bottle...not a recycling & not reusing the bottle

08/01/2008 10:21 AM

How big are the containers? How thick is the plastic? Is the material inside flammable?

When working in a mill, we used a horizontal drill press to drill holes for pegs in doors. The drill was operated with a foot peddle. The machine itself was not terribly large. it seems that something like this could be set up under your fume hood and properly shielded from the liquid. Set up the drill to drill through the side and partially thorough the bottom.

Some of these drill presses have two spindles if you needed a hole in the top for airflow for drainage.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/Horizontal-Boring-Machine/G4185

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