Ultrablack plate has been running for 15 years on a premier-sparkling-wine neck-freezer machine with no wear or swelling.
This is according to Johan Brits, CEO of machinery manufacturing and maintenance company Vino Tech. Brits reports the machine operates for 300 days a year bottling 1100 bottles per hour at a sparkling-wine bottler in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Neck-freezing is a process required when bottle-fermenting sparkling wines in a style that follows the original Champagne wine making style. It involves a second fermentation process in the bottle to produce the bubbles and refreshing taste associated with a premier sparkling wine.
Since some fermentation takes place in the bottle, a disgorging process is required to remove a plug of frozen dead yeast cells.
Brits explains that bottles go into the neck-freezing machine upside down because of the sediment in the neck and cork of the bottles.
The bowl in which the neck goes into is filled with glycol at -28°C, which allows the sediment to freeze and then the bottle turned right side up so that the sediment does not fall back into the bottle. It is removed in a separate process.
Ultrablack plate, a premium wear resistant material for sliding wear applications is used on the wine-bottle-holding conveyor belt.
Little wear and no swelling take place despite the wet conditions and the large numbers of bottles transported, reports Brits.