Anatomy of a Bottle

Anatomy of a Bottle

For most, bottles simply act as the packaging for a favorite product and never receive a second thought. But for anyone considering packaging for their own product, the importance of the bottle is front and center. Understanding a bottle’s makeup and terminology will help you shop for and compare different types of bottles, and ultimately choose the right one for your product.

Here’s a Look at the Anatomy of a Bottle from Top to Bottom

Anatomy of a Bottle

Sealing Surface:

The flat, circular top surface of the finish which makes direct contact with the closure to form a seal. It’s sometimes referred to as the “land.” If the sealing surface is not flat, the container could leak.

Neck:

The portion of the container that is above the shoulder and below the finish. The neck is where the cross-section of the bottle grows smaller to join the finish.

Mold Seam:

The slight vertical ridge that runs through the neck ring and the rest of the finish. The seam indicates where two halves of the finish molds were joined.

Label Panel:

A flat area on the body of the bottle that can accept the application of a label. Label panels are sometimes recessed to protect the labels from rubbing together during shipping and the edges from fraying.

Heel:

The lower part of the bottle where the body (sidewall) turns from vertical to horizontal. The heel joins the sidewall to the bottom-bearing surface and may have a small recessed spot that serves as a registration device for labeling and decorating equipment.

Finish:

The top part of the container, above the neck, shaped to accommodate a specific closure. Historically, the finish was made during the last part of the bottle molding process, which is how it got its name.

Neck Ring or Transfer Bead:

A horizontal ridge at the base of the finish used for transferring the bottle from one part of the production process to the next.

Shoulder:

The part of the bottle that joins the wide main body and the narrower neck. The slope of the shoulder is one factor in determining how quickly a product will be dispensed when the bottle is inverted.

Bottom:

The entire lower part of the bottle below the sidewalls. The bottom includes the heel, base and pushup. The bottom may have letters and symbols molded into it that indicate the number of the mold cavity that produced the container and the manufacturer. The manufacturer symbol is called a “punt mark”. The bottom also may have a small projection that serves as a registration device for labeling and decorating equipment. The device also can take the form of a small recess along the heel of the container.

Base:

An even bearing surface that forms a ring around the outside of the bottom upon which the bottle rests. On glass containers, this ring usually is given a stippled finish in the mold to mask scratches that occur during handling. Concentrating abrasions on the stronger high points of this raised pattern prevent the container from being weakened. The base is inside and underneath the heel and surrounds the pushup.

Thread:

A spiral-shaped ridge on the finish of a bottle intended to mesh with a similarly sized screw-type closure to seal the container.

Neck Ring Parting Line:

The seam at the base of the transfer bead between the neck and finish of the bottle. It marks the joining of the finish to the bottle’s body.

Body:

The main part of the bottle where the sidewalls are usually (but not always) vertical.

Mold Parting Line:

The bottom plate is the part of the mold that shapes the bottom of the container. The parting line is a slight horizontal ridge formed in the joint between two parts of the mold.

Pushup:

An inward dome in the center of the base. The resulting ring around the outside of the bottom ensures stability, providing an even bearing surface upon which the bottle rests. The pushup is exaggerated on some bottles, such as wine bottles.