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American Glass Research
Volume 2 / Issue 1

Soup to Nuts

American Glass Research has expanded and enhanced all phases of our Comprehensive Container Design Service. We are fully equipped to guide our customers from “Soup to Nuts” through a conceptual bottle design process. Finding the perfect balance between an abstract and visually appealing design and a functional package is a formidable challenge. We have the expertise to assist you from the earliest design stages of a bottle image or sketch to the successful launch of an attractive package that has been technically verified for performance.


Using the latest in solid modeling and finite element analysis (FEA) techniques, the design is refined through a collaborative effort with our customer. At this point, not only will the customer have the assurance of technical feasibility, they will also have full ownership of the technical drawing which can be presented to multiple suppliers without restriction. The next objective is a validation that the bottle designed in the FEA model is replicated in actual production. This is accomplished through “Proof of Design” testing which confirms the glass distribution and manufacturing quality have been achieved as required. The evaluation also includes performance testing devised to confirm acceptable performance under the anticipated use conditions. The final phase of the service is a filling line impact audit, conducted by our experts to measure and quantify actual impact forces. With real impact values developed for direct comparison to the FEA results and performance testing results, the successful introduction of the new bottle design is assured. The advantages of our Comprehensive Container Design services include:

  • Shorter time to market
  • Elimination of critical design flaws from the outset
  • Lower costs by avoiding mold part changes
  • Full ownership of technical drawings
  • Complete understanding of predicted performance (No surprises)

Visit our website to learn more




AGR now has a LinkedIn company page and puts out informative and relevant posts every week including “Ask Our Experts” questions and answers, Glass Defects of the Month, News updates and more.

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Heavy Metal in Glass Can Impact Quality and Create Liability Issues

Recalls are expensive. We can help you to avoid them. AGR is qualified to analyze your glass containers and save you time and money in the long run. Toxics in Packaging Clearing House (TPCH) sponsored a study to evaluate test methods for determining the total concentration of heavy metals in glass packaging. The study concluded that American Glass Research’s analytical laboratory fared extremely well in comparison testing performed by nine other testing laboratories. AGR’s test methods for the determination of Heavy Metals in Glass starts with the sample being decomposed with hydrofluoric and other acids.

  • Pb and Cd: The resulting solution is analyzed by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry against matrix matched standards
  • Hexavalent Cr: The hexavalent Cr content is determined colorimetrically with diphenylcarbazide in the resulting solution
  • Mercury: The resulting solution is analyzed by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry

According to the study, the test methods used by AGR accurately measured lead in glass packaging samples based on the evaluation parameters outlined in the TCPH report. The study was funded by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. AGR will be included in the list of laboratories that are qualified to perform the recommended testing methods for toxics in packaging, including the analysis of glass samples using EPA Method 3052 or equivalent. AGR performs Heavy Metal testing at their AGR Maumee, Ohio location. To avoid problems with heavy metals contact us to submit samples. To read the final certification report, click here.



AGR offers Expanded Auditing Service of Container Glass Plant Operations

Manufacturing container glass is a highly dynamic and complex process that is not solely defined by the performance of the inspection machines in the cold end, but rather is the result of the proper execution of effective standard operating procedures from the gatehouse to the packaging department.


With the growing expectation of consumers for high quality products, fillers are becoming increasingly aware of the adverse effect defects have on their brand. Product recalls caused by defects are an important impetus in the continuous improvement of standard operating procedures. Auditing container glass plant operations is a proven method to evaluate the effectiveness of the quality system and the procedures. A thorough audit will cover the entire process and will verify compliance to anticipated quality standards. During an effective, proactive audit, the practices, the procedures and the quality records are thoroughly reviewed. Observations on the shop floor will verify practices and identify any improvement opportunities.


The planning and actual conducting of a container glass plant audit can be a daunting task for a customer or container glass manufacturer. We offer two key services in this area:


  1. Audit of a container glass plant operation
    We use our extensive experience in the fields of container glass manufacturing and quality to conduct a full and comprehensive audit of plant operations. The audit is modular in design and depending on the request of the customer can cover all the processes of manufacturing. This is a perfect solution for the qualification of new suppliers, regular evaluation of existing suppliers or a more focused evaluation of certain aspect in container glass manufacturing. Also for glass manufacturers, this may help identify improvement opportunities in the preparation of an upcoming audit.
  2. Training seminar for conducting an audit
    We also offer a seminar on the audit of glass plant operations. If you already have an audit team, we can teach the methods to conduct a more effective audit. The seminar covers the specifics of container glass manufacturing in a modular fashion and focuses on important audit aspects. The participants will be trained to conduct an actual audit, on how to observe and to ask the right questions during the audit.

Contact us to set up an audit or for more information




We are experiencing a problem with breakage in the filling line. Can we send some unused bottles to you for testing to determine the cause for the filling line breakage?



Supplying a few or even a larger number of unused bottles for testing is unlikely to provide the necessary information. In the first place, without knowing the type of applied force (e.g. internal pressure, impact, or thermal shock) considerable testing would be needed. Secondly, without knowing the type of flaw at the fracture origin of the filling line breakage we cannot be certain if any problem that was identified in testing matched the problem in the filling operation. Finally, the filling line breakage may be caused by conditions (handling damage, overfilled bottles, or improper capping) that are not present on the empty ware. It has been our experience that submitting a representative number of actual breakage samples for fracture analysis is the most efficient and cost effective approach to determine the definitive cause of the problem.



Glass breakage is NOT the result of the glass being “brittle”. While glass is classified as a “brittle” material due to the lack of plastic deformation at failure, the term “brittle” does not indicate that a material is weak. In fact, glass can be quite strong, depending on the condition of the surface. Breakage that occurs in the glass plant, filling line, or during consumer usage can be due to the presence of significant flaws, improper handling or excessive application of loads but it is not the direct result the glass being characterized as a “brittle” material.



New Coating School Offered

AGR has announced a new Open Enrollment ‘Coating’ School scheduled for November 18–19 in Butler, PA, USA. The seminar will focus on the role of surface coatings in the maintenance of glass surface strength, their application in both the hot end and the cold end as well as solutions to problems associated with the use of coatings.

Additionally AGR has or will visit Russia, China, Italy and Egypt to conduct Private In-Plant Training Seminars. If you cannot attend one of our open enrollment seminars contact us to set one up.


Open Enrollment training seminars at our headquarter campus in Butler, PA, get underway April 7 to 10 with ‘Testing and Fracture Diagnosis of Glass Bottles’ followed by ‘Advanced Batch and Furnace Operations’ May 5 to 8. See our complete schedule or catalogue.



We would welcome your reaction and comments to our new e-Newsletters, so please let us know what you think.

Contact Us

American Glass Research
603 Evans City Road, Butler, PA 16001
Tel: +1 (724) 482-2163

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