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Troubleshooting Guide

PET Blow moulding

Blown finish


Overheating of the finish area which allows blow

pressure air to stretch the material

Move shield away from finish into a thicker part of the

preforms taper.

Oven ambient temperature to high

Bring shield close to preform.

Incorrect loading height, too much of the finish is

exposed to the elements

Increase oven exhaust.

Reduce neck element heat.

Sealing surface damage



Misalignment of the preform, blow mould and blow

nozzle usually caused by poor transfer arm positioning

Realign transfer arm.

Blow mold position

Realign blow mold or nozzle if necessary.

Nozzle position

Chocked neck


Over stretching of the preform by the stretch rod prior

to blow

Reduce air delay time.

Low blow delayed or missing

Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Move shield into a thicker part of the taper.
Increase heat in the body or base.
Increase low blow pressure.
Reduce heat in the neck.

Bent neck


Misalignment of the preform to the mould or nose

Realignment of the preform to the nose or mould.

Distortion below the flange

Reduce material thickness in the shoulder by reducing

heat in the body.

Insufficient mould cooling

Increase high blow time.

One mould half with poor cooling

Improve mould cooling.

Excessive material remained in the neck and shoulder

Hard neck


Initial stretching occurs too low into the preforms


Reduce heat in the body and/ or base until

pearlescence occurs then increase neck temperature.

Preform location incorrect through oven

Increase stretch rod pressure.

Air leak into preform before the start of low blow

Increase air delay time.

Reduce low blow pressure.

Move shield into the thinner part of the taper.

Check height of preform though oven.
Check for air leak through nose.

Thin shoulder


Excessive stretching of the taper. Stations producing a

smaller low blow container will be first with the fault or
the thinnest.

Move shield into a thicker part of the preforms taper.

Poor shield positioning, allowing excessive stretching

of the thin part of the taper

Reduce air delay time.

Reduce stretch rod pressure.
Increase low blow pressure.
Reduce heat in the neck. If thickening occurs below
desired area Increase heat below the neck element.

Hot bottles


Preform temperature above crystal growth range for to


Reduce heat adjacent to the haze until pearlescence is

evident somewhere on the bottle.

Insufficient cooling of the outside surface for the

amount of heat absorbed by the P.E.T.

Reduce heat over all until pearlescence is evident.

Excessive equilibration time o Preform wall thickness

excessive blowers

Increase air circulation through oven, increase blower

speed, clean blowers.

Excessive fill point drop



Low levels of orientation results in the material not

having enough strength to resist the pressure applied

Reduce over all perform temperature allowing the

bottle to be blown closer to its natural stretch limit.

Under this condition slight pearlescence may be




Pearlescence results from stretching of molecules

faster than they can respond past it's natural stretch
limit. Small tears appear on the material's surface.

Material to thin - Increase heat other than where pearl

is evident.
Where the pearlescent area may be allowed to stretch
further increase heat at pearl.
Increase overall preform temperature.
Pearlescence opposite a swung gate (see"Swung
Pearlescence on the bottle shoulder may be the result
of a blow air leak through nose from either the low
valve, high blow valve or stretch rod.
Reduce low blow volume, increase low blow time and
reduce low blow pressure.
Ensure low blow bottle is not to large. Excessive petal
formation in low blow will cause pearl in the petal
Pearlescence in the body in the form of a ring is the
result of insufficient low blow.

Flat sides


Poor venting due to excessive parting of the blow

moulds allowing air to be trapped along the mould

Ensure excessive mould parting does not occur.

Low blow bottle too small. In this case the volume of

air trying to escape during high blow is more than the
venting can allow

Increase low blow pressure ensuring bottle diameter is

close to blow mould size at the end of low blow to
minimize air that remains in the blow mould before
high blow starts.

Low blow bottle blown to fast

Reduce low blow pressure and extend low blow time if

the body of the bottle has reached the mould.

Excessive high blow pressure

Reduce high blow pressure.

Deformation at mold parting lines



Pressure remaining in the bottle when blow moulds


Inadequate exhaust time, check exhaust valve


Insufficient high blow cooling time

Increase high blow time or reduce material thickness.

Material too hot and/or too thick

Reduce material thickness.

Reduce preform temperature.

Chocked body


Insufficient or no low blow

Increase low blow pressure.

Insufficient heat beside choke

Increase heat in the body.

Reduce heat in the base and/ or neck.
Reduce air delay time.
Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Heavy base weight



Incorrect heating profile resulting in a poor distribution

of material, over stretching of the body or shoulder

Reduce heat in the body and/ or shoulder until

pearlescence occurs then increase heat at the base.
Repeat until the base weight is correct.

Light base weight



Poor heating profile resulting in poor distribution of

material, insufficient stretching of the body or

Reduce heat near the base of the preform until

pearlescence occurs then increase heat to the shoulder
and/or body. Repeat until base weight is correct.
Increase air delay time.
Increase stretch rod pressure.
Reduce low blow pressure.
Reduce oven shielding of the taper.

Feet not fully formed



Insufficient high blow pressure. Rate of high blow too

slow, material movement stalls before reaching the
corners. Often as a result of blow nozzle leak.

Check high pressure. If possible. If station related

check for high blow leaks from nozzle or stretch rod o
Increase high blow time.

Insufficient high blow time. If adding high blow time

does not fix the problem look for another cause.

Reduce base weight by reducing preform temperature

until pearlescence is evident then increase prefroms
lower body temperature.

Heavy base weight. High blow pressure inadequate to

move material into the corners.

Check low blow bottle size. Reduce if necessary.

Excessive low blow pressure or time. If too much of

the material will be left to form the feet correctly.
Corners are likely to be thin.

Fix swung gate.

Swung gate. Feet will not form in the corners opposite

the gate movement unless extra heat is applied near
the end cap.

Hot sides


Inconsistent preform rotation through the oven

Check the preform for a drag marl. Ensure oven

shields are not touching the preform. Check collect,
spindle or mandrel rotation.

Insufficient surface cooling of the preform

Increase air flow onto the surface of the preform.

Low head load



Insufficient orientation and/or material thickness to

deliver the required physical strength

Reduce over all preform temperature.

Reduce heat beside failure point.
Where failures occur between neck and shoulder
adjust shield into a thicker part of the taper.

Low burst pressure (body)



Insufficient orientation (too hot)

Reduce preform temperature.

Material to thin

Reduce body heat.


Low IV

Low burst pressure (base)



Base of bottle blown too cold producing excessive


Increase heat below the preform.

Stretch rod clearance too short

Reset stretch rod clearance.

Excessive crystallinity at the gate

Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Low IV

Excessive stress in preform

Poor clearance


Preform temperature too high

Base weight correct or light, reduce heat beside

and/or below the gate.

Heavy base weight

Base weight to heavy, reduce preform temperature.

End cap temperature too high

Increase high blow time.

Aged preforms

Insufficient mould cooling

Excessive inherent preform stress

Fold in base at end cap line



Preform temperature to hot

Reduce heat in the areas other than the base. If the

fold remains after pearlescence has formed. Heat may

be applied to the preform end cap area.

Preform end cap area to cold

Increase low blow pressure.

An excess of material in the vicinity of the fold

Reduce air delay time.

Lack or loss of low blow volume

Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Excessive force applied by the stretch rod

Aged or stressed preforms

Fold around the stretch rod



Over heating of the preform end cap, material wraps

around the end of the stretch rod. In effect another
thick/ thin transition forms.

Reduce heat or below the end cap area.

Increase low blow pressure.
Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Cracked base


Preform end cap too cold

Increase heat beside or below the gate.

Excessive stretch rod pressure

Reduce stretch rod pressure.

Clearance between the stretch rod and mould base too


Check preform for excessive crystallinity, if so change


Thick crystallinity above the gate

Increase stretch rod, mould base gap.

Swung gate


First impacted mark is evident and is not centered to

the gate, an alignment problem is usually the cause.
Check for misalignment. Ensure transfer arm locates
preform in mould correctly.

Misalignment of the preform to the mould, nozzle or

stretch rod.

Check blow mould cooling

Inadequate mould cooling, one half only If the gate is

centered to the stretch rod impact mark and yet not
centered to the mould base at the end of blow the
stretch rod has lost control during blow.

If the first impact mark is centered, the stretch rod

has lost control of the gate during blow. Often gate
control is lost due to excessive growth in length during
low blow. Ideally growth should start high in the
preform reaching full diameter before full length if
length is achieved.

Lower half of preform too hot.

before diameter the rod must travel further than

normal to keep up.

Low blow pressure too high.

Reduce low bottle size

Air delay time too short.

Increase air delay time

Stretch rod length too short.

Reset stretch rod height

Excessive stretch rod cushioning.

Worn stretch rod guides.
Excessive preform eccentricity.
Thick crystallinity near gate.

Stress cracking


Off center gates. Webs with the thinnest material will

stress crack early.

Fix swung gate.

Excessive post mould change. As clearance

deteriorates web shape changes increasing the risk of
stress cracking.

Reduce preform temperature to pearlescence, reduce

base weight if necessary. Increase high blow time.

Excessive growth at the base cust line. Temperature of

the lower half of the preform's body is to high.

Reduce heat in the preform's lower body.

Chemical reaction by some line lubricants

Line lubricants generally cause severe stress cracking

in all feet.

Low I.V. material

Increase base weight.

Light base weight. Inadequate thickness to resist



Hot bottles (see "Hot bottles")

Folds in the base

Light base weight

Excessive post mold growth

Low I.V.


Chemical Reaction (see "Stress cracking")


Air bubbles above the gate

Stress Cracking

Cracked bases

Excessive crystallinity

Drop test failures



Preform end cap blown too cold

Increasing heat at the gate or below without loosing

base weight usually improves drop test failure.

Light base weight

Increase base weight.

Excessive crystallinity above gate

Large air bubbles above the gate