Hand sanitiser dispenser pump testing

  • Mecmesin

Sales of antibacterial gels have soared enormously following National Health Service advice telling the public to thoroughly wash hands in order to stay protected from Coronavirus. In fact, even before the 2020 pandemic crisis, the presence of hand sanitisers had already become commonplace, not only in hospitals but also in schools, restaurants and offices.

Sanitisers typically come in liquid, foam or gel form and are often dispensed to the user from containers with a type of screw-cap closure. The closure itself could be a disc-top, lotion pump or flip-top style; all designed to allow the free-flowing gel to be evenly released from the container.

The most common packaging material for containers of such hand sanitisers and soaps is PET and PP plastics. This type of plastic can either be recycled or rinsed out and reused. As consumer awareness of packaging waste in oceans and landfills increases, companies are committed to reducing single-use packaging and improving sustainability by rethinking their packaging systems.


If we take a pump gel dispenser as an example, it relies on a number of assembled components to apply the gel from the bottle – principally a long plastic dip tube connected to a plastic housing containing a metal spring and plastic ball. This combination makes the pump dispenser impossible to recycle economically and most have traditionally ended up in landfill. The trend to reuse pump dispensers is growing fast as healthcare companies respond to consumer demand by offering hand wash refills in fully recyclable clear plastic containers. The contents are transferred from the refill into the existing pump gel dispenser, extending its useful life enormously.

This does however mean that the pump dispenser does need to keep working time and time again, so must be rigorously tested for its mechanical strength to meet its performance criteria. Mecmesin has worked extensively with both packaging designers and producers as well as contract fillers to provide quality-control test equipment which puts a pump dispenser through its paces.

  • Testing the force required to separate the dip tube from the transfer chamber
  • Measuring the compressive strength characteristics of the spring component
  • Checking the applied and release force of the actuator during ‘priming’ and ‘application’
  • Testing the torque required to overcome the protective lock feature of the actuator

Tensile, compression and torque testers from Mecmesin are available with easy-to-use software specifically designed for its versatility to meet QC, R&D and Production requirements. A comprehensive range of gripping fixtures provide secure clamping of your packaging components and assemblies, so that test results are fully repeatable from operator to operator.

Test equipment

  • MultiTest motor-driven compression tester
  • Compression plate of diameter suitable for the dispensing push surface size

See also

Cosmetic packaging pull-off test

A bench-top testing system was required to repeatably test the pull-off force on a variety of cosmetic containers. The system needed to allow a relatively high volume of containers to be tested with the minimum level of training required for users. Mecmesin's solution avoided the risk of damaging the loadcell by excessive torque on tightening the collet grip, and the lipstick barrel was first inserted in the grip and then connected to the gauge by a flexible chain-link.

Food packaging made from thermoformed plastics and intended for freezing, requires testing to ensure optimum functionality when closing and sealing the container. The closing effort of the lid is measured by using a motorised force tester controlled by software together with a custom-designed fixture to hold standard-sized ice cream tubs. In addition the ‘top-load’ crush strength of the container itself can also be tested on the same machine to guarantee it is rigid enough to avoid buckling and spillage when the lid is applied.

Mecmesin develops Combi Cork-i Extraction Tester for leading Scottish whisky

To improve the quality and storage of a premium product, the R&D team at a leading Scottish whisky maker needed to optimise the design of their bottle stoppers. They decided that the strength and performance of their reusable stoppers could be ensured by systematic testing of the characteristics of both portions of the stoppers. Working closely with the R&D team, Mecmesin developed the Combi Cork-i Extraction Tester, an innovative multi-function cork extraction testing system that tests both phases of de-corking synchronously.

Greek beauty product manufacturer guarantees production quality by updating to Mecmesin's digital torque testers

A manufacturer of a wide range of skin, hair-care, make-up and sun-care products based in Greece needed to replace their outdated torque testers with up-to-date digital torque testers to guarantee production quality and to ensure their products remained sealed. Mecmesin supplied the company with two Tornado 10N.m digital torque testers, which have the ability to test tamper-evident closures, an intrinsic part of their specification.

  • Jo Webb
  • Product Info
  • English
  • Created 07 Oct 2020
  • Modified 06 Oct 2020
  • Hits 253