The closure seals through interference
To measure the dynamic performance of the closures over the time, that is, the trend of the force that the closure will continue to exert on the inner surface of the neck-finish, an aeronautic alloy cylinder was designed reproducing its internal geometry. The operation principle is based on the micro deformations of the cylinder on which strain-gage cells are applied (they convert the micro deformation into electric signal). The continuous capture of the signal draws a graph which allows to compare and understand the dynamics of mechanical perfomances over the time, which are essential for the technical focus of the project: oxygen permeability.
Since the beginning of the project, this aspect was considered by the creators the real competitive advantage that ArdeaSeal closure had to have and the one on which to work with no compromise.
The research work began constructing a database that would allow to define the standard permeability of natural cork based stoppers. The conclusion was that natural cork does not have a standard permeability (values were collected on corks from the same batch with differences of 10 to 1 and more); therefore the range of fluctuations in terms of performances from one bottle to another within the same batch has widened.
Further to the currently available measuring systems, a normalized protocol test was implemented (ASTM F1307-02, food packaging permeability) that uses a dedicated equipment (Mocon-Tran). For every test program a series of samples was periodically retested and stored in a controlled environment. The dynamics of the test consists in sending a constant flow of carrier gas (N2) that, once back in the equipment, is analyzed. The system provides the value of air, and therefore of oxygen, passed through the set closure/neck-finish (measured in cc over 24 hours).
Today we can guarantee that the performance of permeability to oxygen of ArdeaSeal closures over the time are equivalent to that of the best cork when at its own maximum level, uniform and constant properties, and the manufacturing process ensures its repetitiveness.
Numerous oenological ageing tests have been performed by the following labs:
- Enosis, Cuccaro Monferrato.
- I.C.V. (Institut Coopératif du Vin), Montpellier.
In both cases the aging protocol has been structured by the laboratories themselves, based on their experience and expertise, and in relation to the objectives of the test.