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About Labs

061022-001 Bottle burst tests
Date 22nd October 2006
Tested by PK and GK.
Location Sydney, Australia
Test Procedure Burst Test


  • To test at what pressure a number of bottles (1.5L, 1.25L and 2L) will fail.
  • To test several reinforcing techniques to increase the burst pressure.

Experiment Setup

The standard hydrostatic burst test procedure was used to carry out these tests. (See above). Three reinforcement techniques were used to attempt to raise the burst pressure:

  • Glass strapping tape
  • Cheap gaffer tape
  • Heat shrinking the bottle to reduce diameter and increase the wall thickness.
1.25L bottle re-enforced with Scotch Strapping tape.
Blue Scotch "gaffer" tape on a 2L Coke bottle.
Detail of the base re-enforcing.


A standard 2L Coke bottle.
Failure of the re-enforced bottle. Note that the tear is very limited.
Bottle failed at just above the normal burst pressure. This tape is useless for re-enforcing.
Failed shrunk 1.5 L bottle. The neck shattered as well as the nozzle.


Capacity Burst Pressure
Burst Pressure
2 L 168 11.5 This was a standard 2L "shaped" Coke bottle had the label still attached. It is likely that the label provided a little re-enforcement.
1.25 L 250 17.2 A standard 1.25L bottle re-enforced with 1 layer of Scotch 3M strapping tape. The bottle showed very good shape retention at high pressures.
2 L 190 13.1 The same Coke bottle as above but this time it was re-enforced with a single layer of blue Scotch "Gaffer" tape. This tape is quite flexible and provided very little re-enforcing strength. In the video it is quite obvious that bottle stretched significantly before bursting. This tape is useless for re-enforcement.
1.5 L

Heat Shrunk to 1 L

170? 11.7 This was a test to see if shrinking a bottle using hot air would make it stronger because of the smaller diameter and hence slightly thicker walls.

The bottle stretched quite asymmetrically and burst at regular pressure. This bottle also failed unlike the others. The bottle failed at the neck and shattered the nozzle. When bottles stretch it is very common for little stretched "V"s to form right at the base of the neck. The bottle probably failed at one of these and the crack propagated all the way to the top shattering the nozzle around it.

Conclusions / Analysis

  • The most effective reinforcement technique was the glass strapping tape.
  • The cheap gaffer tape and heat shrinking made little difference between in providing extra strength.

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