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1. (WO2019032564) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THERMOFORMING AN ARTICLE
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METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR THERMOFORMING AN ARTICLE

PRIORITY CLAIM

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to US Provisional

Application Serial No. 62/541,944, filed August 07, 2017 and US Provisional Application Serial No. 62/547,162, filed August 18, 2017, both of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The present disclosure relates to thermoforming articles, and particularly to thermoforming shallow draw articles. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to a process for thermoforming shallow draw articles that comprise polymeric materials.

SUMMARY

[0003] According to the present disclosure, a method of thermoforming an article includes a number of stages. The method includes extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials, conditioning the sheet with a rotating roller, thermoforming the sheet to provide a web, and cutting the web to provide the shallow draw article.

[0004] In illustrative embodiments, the conditioning stage includes applying the extruded sheet to a rotating roller having a textured surface. The thermoforming stage includes receiving the extruded sheet from the conditioning stage and applying the extruded sheet to a rotating rotor (sometimes called a form tool) included in a rotary thermoformer. The sheet molds onto article molds coupled to the rotor to form continuously an article -blank web having a plurality of article blanks formed therein. The article-blank web is moved to a cutting stage where the article blanks are cut from the article-blank web to form shallow draw articles.

[0005] In illustrative embodiments, the rotating roller has an outer surface having a surface roughness configured to provide a shallow draw article having desired characteristics such as, for example, thickness, surface finish, transparency, levelness, and strength. In illustrative embodiments, at least a portion of the outer surface that contacts the sheet has a surface roughness of less than about 400 Ra (microinches). In illustrative embodiments, at least a portion of the outer surface that contacts the sheet has a surface roughness between about 100 Ra (microinches) and about 240 Ra (microinches).

[0006] In illustrative embodiments, the surface roughness of the outer surface may be varied to provide a transparent article. For example, the surface roughness of the outer surface of the rotating roller may be chosen to provide a shallow draw thermoformed article having a clarity of about or greater than about 50% as measured using ASTM D 1746 and a haze of about or less than about 60% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[0007] Additional features of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of illustrative embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the disclosure as presently perceived.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The detailed description particularly refers to the accompanying figures in which:

[0009] Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an article-manufacturing process in accordance with the present disclosure for making a shallow draw article using a rotary thermoformer and showing that the article-manufacturing process includes the stages of extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials, conditioning the sheet, rotary thermoforming the sheet to provide an article-blank web, cutting the article-blank web to provide the article shown, for example, in Fig. 2, optionally stacking the article with other articles, and optionally bagging the article for storage and transportation;

[0010] Fig. 2 is a perspective view of a lid formed by the article-manufacturing process shown in Fig. 1 ;

[0011] Fig. 3 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 1 showing the various processes and illustrative equipment used in the article-manufacturing process including extruding the sheet comprising polymeric materials with an extruder and die, conditioning the sheet with a rotating conditioning roller, rotary

thermoforming the sheet with a rotary thermoformer to provide the article-blank web, cutting the article-blank web with either a rotary cutter or a reciprocating cutter to provide the article, optionally stacking the article with other articles using a star-wheel stacker, and optionally bagging the article for storage and transportation;

[0012] Fig. 4 is a diagrammatic view of the extrusion stage, the conditioning stage, and the rotary thermoforming stage showing that the sheet is extruded through a die and applied to the conditioning roller before being applied to the rotary thermoformer;

[0013] Fig. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the die and the conditioning roller showing that the die has about a 90 degree presentation angle relative to the conditioning roller and suggesting that the presentation angle may be varied during operation;

[0014] Fig. 6 is a diagrammatic view of the die and the conditioning roller showing that the die has about a 40 degree presentation angle relative to the conditioning roller;

[0015] Fig. 7 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the conditioning stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 showing that the conditioning stage includes directing the sheet from the extruder toward the temperature controlled conditioning roller and applying the sheet to the conditioning roller to provide a desired surface finish on the sheet, to regulate a feed rate of the process, and to control a temperature of the sheet;

[0016] Fig. 8 is another perspective and diagrammatic view of the conditioning stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 showing that the conditioning roller has an outer surface with a predetermined surface roughness to provide the desired surface finish on the sheet and further suggesting that the conditioning stage may include the step of blocking the sheet from moving axially relative to the conditioning roller and for controlling the machine direction feed rate of the sheet, for example, by using a static pinner, an air pinner, and/or a vacuum box;

[0017] Fig. 9 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of one embodiment of a conditioning roller having a first surface roughness for use with the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 1;

[0018] Fig. 10 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of another embodiment of a conditioning roller having a second surface roughness for use with the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 1;

[0019] Fig. 11 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of another embodiment of a conditioning roller for use with the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 1, the conditioning roller having an outer surface that includes stripes having a first surface roughness and stripes having a second surface roughness positioned between the stripes with the first surface roughness;

[0020] Fig. 12 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of another embodiment of a conditioning roller for use with the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 1, the conditioning roller having an outer surface with a central area having a first surface roughness and end stripes having a second surface roughness;

[0021] Fig. 13 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the rotary thermoforming stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 suggesting that the rotary thermoforming stage includes applying the sheet to a rotary thermoformer, the rotary thermoformer including a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis, a plurality of article molds coupled to the rotor, and optional curl-blocking strips that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward edges of the sheet, and suggesting that the sheet thermoforms to the article molds to form article blanks and to the curl-blocking strips to block the sheet from curling away from the rotor during the rotary thermoforming step;

[0022] Fig. 13A is a diagrammatic view of the rotary thermoformer of Fig. 13 showing that the rotor includes two rows of article molds coupled to each side of the rotor;

[0023] Fig. 13B is a diagrammatic view of another rotary thermoformer showing that the rotor includes one row of article molds coupled to each side of the rotor;

[0024] Fig. 14 is a top elevation view of one of the curl-blocking strips showing that the curl-blocking strip includes rows of protrusions arranged in an alternating pointing pattern to block a sheet molded to the curl-blocking strip from releasing from the curl-blocking strip if the sheet moves laterally relative to the protrusions while also allowing the sheet to release from the curl-blocking strip when the sheet moves perpendicularly away from the protrusions;

[0025] Fig. 15 is a perspective view of one of the protrusions included in the curl-blocking strip of Fig. 14 showing that the protrusion has a generally ellipse shape with converging pointed ends and that the protrusion has a steep inclined surface to block the sheet molded to the curl-blocking strip from easily releasing from the curl-blocking strip in a lateral direction;

[0026] Fig. 16 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the article-blank web formed during the rotary thermoforming stage showing that the article-blank web includes a strip pattern formed along an edge of the web by the curl-blocking strip to block edge curl of the sheet during the rotary thermoforming stage and suggesting that the strip pattern stiffens the edge of the sheet to facilitate handling of the sheet;

[0027] Fig. 17 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of a prior art article -blank web formed by a rotary thermoforming process without the curl-blocking strip of the present disclosure such that a strip pattern was not formed in the web and showing that the prior art article-blank web has undesired edge curl;

[0028] Fig. 18 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the rotary thermoforming stage showing that the rotary thermoforming stage optionally includes a cooling step in which relatively cool fluid is directed toward the sheet and curl-blocking strips to reduce or eliminate edge-curl of the article -blank web;

[0029] Fig. 19 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of one embodiment of the cutting stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 showing that in some embodiments, the

article-blank web is moved between an upper-press die and a lower-press die of a reciprocating cutter that cuts the article-blank web to provide one or more articles article and suggesting that movement of the article-blank web is temporarily stopped while the upper-press die and the lower-press die move relative to one another;

[0030] Fig. 20 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the cutting stage of Fig. 19 showing that the upper-press die and the lower-press die included in the reciprocating cutter move relative to one another to cut the article-blank web and provide one or more articles and suggesting that movement of the article-blank web is temporarily stopped while the article-blank web is being cut;

[0031] Fig. 21 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of another embodiment of the cutting stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 showing that in some embodiments, the article-blank web is moved between an upper-rotor die and a lower-rotor die included in a rotary cutter that cuts the article-blank web to provide one or more articles and suggesting that the article-blank web is moved continuously through the rotary cutter during the cutting stage;

[0032] Fig. 22 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the cutting stage of in Fig. 21 showing that the upper-rotor die and the lower-rotor die included in the rotary cutter rotate relative to each other to cut the article-blank web and provide the one or more articles and suggesting that movement of the article-blank web is continuous while the article-blank web is being cut;

[0033] Fig. 23 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the stacking stage of the article-manufacturing process of Fig. 3 showing that the articles are lids and that the lids are moved continuously along a predetermined path by a pinch belt;

[0034] Fig. 24 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the stacking stage showing that the articles are directed continuously by the pinch belt into a star- wheel stacker that aligns a plurality of articles to form a stack of articles;

[0035] Fig. 25 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of a canister used in the stacking stage showing that the canister is arranged to receive a plurality of stacks of articles and suggesting that the canister is configured to be pickable by a robot during the article-manufacturing process;

[0036] Fig. 26 is a perspective and diagrammatic view of the robot used in the stacking stage of the article-manufacturing process suggesting that the robot is configured to move the canisters of stacked articles to conveyer belt that moves the stacked articles to the bagging stage of the article-manufacturing process; and

[0037] Fig. 27 is a view of a chart showing haze and clarity values of articles formed with the article-manufacturing process using different conditioning roller surface textures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0038] A manufacturing process 100 for forming a shallow draw thermoformed article

10 in accordance with the present disclosure is shown, for example, in Figs. 1 and 3. Article 10 may be for example, a lid for a container, a bowl, a tray, a plate, or any other suitable shallow draw thermoformed article. Components of a rotary thermoformer system 11 for performing manufacturing process 100 are shown in Fig. 3.

[0039] Manufacturing process 100 is illustratively an article-manufacturing process 100 for forming articles 10 as shown, for example, in Figs. 1 and 3. The illustrative article 10 is a lid 210 which is adapted to mate with a brim of a container such as a cup or a bowl. One embodiment of lid 210 made by article-manufacturing process 100 is shown, for example, in Fig. 2. Article-manufacturing process 100 may provide articles 10 at a faster rate than traditional manufacturing processes and/or with desired characteristics such as, for example, thickness, surface finish, transparency, levelness, and strength.

[0040] Article-manufacturing process 100 includes an extrusion stage 102, a conditioning stage 104, a rotary thermoforming stage 106, a cutting stage 108, an optional stacking stage 110, and an optional bagging stage 112 as shown, for example, in Figs. 1 and 3. Extrusion stage 102 provides a sheet 30 of polymeric material as suggested in Fig. 3.

Conditioning stage 104 establishes a desired surface finish, temperature, and feed rate of sheet 30 as suggested in Figs. 7 and 8. Rotary thermoforming stage 106 thermoforms sheet 30 to rotary thermoformer 16 to form continuously article-blank web 32 as suggested in Figs. 13 and 16. Cutting stage 108 cuts article -blank web 32 to provide at least one article 10 as shown in Figs. 19-22. Stacking stage 110 stacks article 10 with a plurality of other articles 10 as shown in Figs. 23-25. Bagging stage 112 packages the plurality of articles 10 for storage and transportation as suggested in Fig. 3. In illustrative embodiments, article-manufacturing process 100 has a line speed between about 50 feet per minute and 500 feet per minute.

[0041] The illustrative rotary thermoformer system 11 is configured to perform article-manufacturing process 100 as suggested in Fig. 3. Rotary thermoformer system 11 includes an extruder 12, a conditioning roller 14, rotary thermoformer 16, and at least one of cutter 18, 20 as shown in Figs. 3-13A and 19-22. In some embodiments, rotary thermoformer system 11 further includes one or more sheet-movement controllers 24 as shown in Fig. 8. In some

embodiments, rotary thermoformer system 11 further includes one or more of a pinch belt 71, a stacker 26, and a bagger as suggested in Figs. 23-26.

[0042] Extrusion stage 102 of article-manufacturing process 100 uses extruder 12 to melt polymeric materials as shown in Figs. 3-6. The melted polymeric materials are urged through a die 13 to form sheet 30. Sheet 30 leaves extruder 12 and die 13 in a molten state. In some embodiments, sheet 30 leaves extruder 12 and die 13 at between about 300 degrees Fahrenheit and about 700 degrees Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, sheet 30 leaves extruder 12 and die 13 at between about 300 degrees Fahrenheit and about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. In illustrative embodiments, sheet 30 leaves extruder 12 and die 13 at between about 500 degrees Fahrenheit and about 700 degrees Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, sheet 30 leaves extruder 12 and die 13 at between about 400 degrees Fahrenheit and about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

[0043] Die 13 is presented at an angle relative to conditioning roller 14 used in conditioning stage 104 as shown in Figs. 5 and 6. In some embodiments, die 13 has a variable presentation angle relative to conditioning roller 14 between about 40 degrees as shown in Fig. 5 and about 90 degrees as shown in Fig. 6. The presentation angle may be adjusted during process 100.

[0044] Conditioning stage 104 uses conditioning roller 14 to condition sheet 30 as suggested in Figs. 7 and 8. During conditioning stage 104, sheet 30 is directed from extruder 12 toward conditioning roller 14. Sheet 30 is applied partway around an outer surface 42 of conditioning roller 14 to provide a desired surface finish on sheet 30, to regulate a feed rate of article-manufacturing process 100, and to help control the temperature of sheet 30. In some embodiments, sheet 30 is applied to conditioning roller 14 such that sheet 30 is wrapped around one -hundred degrees around conditioning roller 14.

[0045] Conditioning roller 14 may be temperature controlled such that sheet 30 is in its plastic form on conditioning roller 14. Sheet 30 has a temperature of about 300 degrees Fahrenheit to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit after being cooled by conditioning roller 14 in some embodiments. In some embodiments, conditioning roller 14 is cooled with fluid at between about 60 degrees and about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, conditioning roller is cooled with fluid at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, conditioning roller is conditioned with fluid at about 230 degrees Fahrenheit. The fluid may be water, oil, propylene glycol, or any other suitable alternative. In illustrative embodiments, conditioning roller 14 is maintained at a temperature of between about 40 degrees Fahrenheit and about 250 degrees

Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, conditioning roller 14 is maintained at a temperature of between about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

[0046] Conditioning roller 14 is mounted to rotate about a longitudinal axis 40 that extends through conditioning roller 14 as suggested in Figs. 7 and 8. Conditioning roller 14 may have a circular cross-section when viewed along longitudinal axis 40. Conditioning roller 14 includes an outer surface 42 that contacts sheet 30 and has a texture configured to establish a desired surface finish (sometimes called surface texture) on sheet 30. In illustrative embodiments, outer surface 42 is textured to achieve article 10 having one or more of a desired thickness, surface finish, transparency, levelness, and strength.

[0047] Outer surface 42 is textured to block sheet 30 from moving axially relative to longitudinal axis 40 and to control the feed rate of sheet 30 between extruder 12 and rotary thermoformer 16 and, as a result, control the resulting thickness and/or weight of the formed article 10. In some embodiments, conditioning roller 14 includes an outer surface 42 which has a single texture (continuous surface roughness between ends of roller 14) as shown in Figs. 9 and 10. In some embodiments, conditioning roller 14 includes an outer surface 42 which has a variable texture (sometimes called a striped conditioning roller or a non-continuous surface roughness) as shown in Figs. 11 and 12.

[0048] Outer surface 42 has a surface roughness to provide desired control and feed rate of sheet 30 while providing a desired transparency and surface finish of articles 10. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 5 Ra (microinches) and about 400 Ra

(microinches) in some embodiments. In some embodiments, outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 8 Ra (microinches) and about 400 Ra (microinches). In some embodiments, outer surface 42 has a roughness of less than about 400 Ra (microinches).

[0049] In one example, outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 100 Ra

(microinches) and about 240 Ra (microinches). Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 140 Ra (microinches) and about 220 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 140 Ra (microinches) and about 160 Ra

(microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 220 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 200 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments.

[0050] In another example, outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 100 Ra

(microinches) and about 350 Ra (microinches). Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between

about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 340 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 300 Ra (microinches) and about 350 Ra

(microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 200 Ra (microinches) and about 300 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 200 Ra (microinches) and about 275 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 280 Ra (microinches) and about 340 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 290 Ra (microinches) and about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 300 Ra (microinches) and about 320 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 280 Ra (microinches) and about 320 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 270 Ra (microinches) and about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 290 Ra (microinches) and about 310 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 300 Ra (microinches) and about 340 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 300 Ra (microinches) and about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 300 Ra (microinches) and about 320 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 260 Ra (microinches) and about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 270 Ra (microinches) and about 320 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 280 Ra (microinches) and about 310 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 250 Ra (microinches) and about 350 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 250 Ra (microinches) and about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 295 Ra (microinches) and about 305 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 295 Ra (microinches) and about 315 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of between about 285 Ra (microinches) and about 315 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments.

[0051] In some embodiments, outer surface 42 is made from chrome and has a roughness of about 8 Ra (microinches) as shown in Fig. 9. In other embodiments, outer surface has a greater roughness as suggested in Fig. 10. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 100 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 140 Ra

(microinches) in some embodiments . Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 160 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments . Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 180 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments . Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 200 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments . Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 220 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments . Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 240 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments

[0052] Outer surface 42 has a roughness of greater than about 200 Ra (microinches) and less than about 400 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 250 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 275 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 300 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 310 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 320 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 330 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 340 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Outer surface 42 has a roughness of about 350 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments.

[0053] In embodiments where outer surface 42 is a variable texture surface (as shown in

Figs. 11 and 12 for example), a first portion 43 (sometimes called a stripe) of outer surface 42 has a first roughness and a second portion 45 (sometimes called a stripe) of outer surface 42 has a second roughness different than first portion 43. In some embodiments, first and second portions 43, 45 repeat about roller 14 along axis 40 as shown in Fig. 11. In some embodiments, second portions 45 are located only on the ends of conditioning roller 14 and first portion 43 extends between second portions 45 as shown in Fig. 12.

[0054] First portion 43 extends circumferentially around roller 14 and each second portion 45 extends circumferentially around roller 14. First portion 43 may be sized to fit article blanks 38 in a footprint of first portion 43 as suggested in Fig. 11. Second portion 45 may be sized to fit between article blanks 38 as shown in Fig. 11 and/or outside article blanks 38 as shown in Fig. 12. First portion 43 may have a roughness that is less than a roughness of second portion 45. Second portion 45 may be raised radially outward relative to first portion 43.

[0055] In some embodiments, first portion 43 has a roughness of about or less than about 400 Ra (microinches). First portion 43 has a roughness of between about 100 Ra (microinches) and about 240 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a

roughness of between about 140 Ra (microinches) and about 220 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of between about 140 Ra (microinches) and about 160 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of between about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 220 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of between about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 200 Ra

(microinches) in some embodiments.

[0056] First portion 43 has a roughness of about 100 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of about 140 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of about 160 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of about 180 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. First portion 43 has a roughness of about 200 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments.

[0057] Second portion 45 has a roughness greater than first portion 43. The roughness of second portion 45 is about 400 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. The roughness of second portion 45 is greater than about 240 Ra (microinches) in some embodiments. Second portion 45 is located axially outside article blanks 38.

[0058] First portions 43 each have a width of about 4 inches and second portion 45 has a width of about 0.5 inches in the embodiment shown in Fig. 11. First and second portions 43, 45 alternate along longitudinal axis 40 of the conditioning roller 14 as shown in Fig. 11.

Second portions 45 may each have a width of about 4.5 inches in the embodiment shown in Fig. 12 and first portion extends entirely between the second portions 45. Second portions 45 are located at a first end and a second end of roller 14 and first portion 43 extends entirely between the second portions 45.

[0059] Conditioning stage 104 may include a step of blocking sheet 30 from moving axially and circumferentially along longitudinal axis 40 relative to conditioning roller 14 as suggested in Fig. 8. In embodiments in which conditioning roller 14 has a low roughness, for example, sheet 30 may move axially relative to longitudinal axis 40 during conditioning stage 104. Sheet 30 may slip on relatively smooth conditioning rollers 14 which may cause the feed rate and thickness of sheet 30 to vary. Conditioning stage 104 may optionally include a sheet-movement controller 24 to block sheet 30 from moving axially and circumferentially relative to longitudinal axis 40. Where outer surface 42 of roller 14 has a roughness of about or greater than about 100 Ra (microinches), outer surface 42 provides a desired control and feed rate of sheet 30 such that sheet-movement controller 24 may not be used and the blocking step is achieved by outer surface 42.

[0060] Sheet-movement controller 24 urges sheet 30 toward conditioning roller 14 to pin sheet 30 on conditioning roller 14 as suggested in Fig. 8. Pinning sheet 30 onto conditioning roller 14 increases friction between sheet 30 and conditioning roller 14. The increased friction blocks axial movement of sheet 30 relative to conditioning roller 14 and blocks sheet 30 from slipping circumferentially on conditioning roller 14. Blocking sheet 30 from slipping may improve control of sheet 30 in the machine direction which may improve control over gram weight variation of sheet 30.

[0061] Sheet-movement controller 24 includes one or more of a static pinner 70, an air pinner 72, and a vacuum box 74, combinations thereof, or any other suitable alternative. Static pinner 70 electrically charges sheet 30 to urge sheet 30 toward conditioning roller 14. Air pinner 72 directs air toward sheet 30 to urge sheet 30 toward conditioning roller 14. Vacuum box 74 applies a vacuum to conditioning roller 14 which urges sheet 30 toward outer surface 42 included in conditioning roller 14. In some embodiments, static pinner 70 and air pinner 72 are spaced apart from conditioning roller 14.

[0062] Rotary thermoforming stage 106 uses rotary thermoformer 16 to form continuously article-blank web 32 from sheet 30 as suggested in Fig. 13. Article-blank web 32 includes a plurality of article blanks 38 that can be cut using cutting stage 108 to form articles 10 as suggested in Figs. 19-22. Article blanks 38 are illustratively lid blanks for forming lids 210.

[0063] In rotary thermoforming stage 106, sheet 30 is applied to a rotary thermoformer

16 that includes a rotor 44 and a plurality of article molds 46 coupled to rotor 44 to provide an article-blank web 32 having a plurality of article blanks 38 formed therein as suggested in Fig. 13. Rotary thermoformer 16 includes rotor 44 mounted to rotate about a rotation axis 52 and the plurality of article molds 46 coupled to rotor 44 as shown in Fig. 13. Rotary thermoformer 16 optionally includes curl-blocking strips 48 that extend radially outward away from rotor 44 toward sheet 30. Rotor 44 is mounted to rotate about rotation axis 52 of rotary thermoformer 16. Article molds 46 are coupled to rotor 44 for rotation therewith. Curl-blocking strips 48 include a plurality of protrusions 50 that extend radially outward away from rotor 44 toward sheet 30 to engage and block sheet 30 from curling away from rotor 44 during the rotary thermoforming stage 106.

[0064] Rotor 44 includes a plurality of faces 54 (sometimes called sides or bands) angled relative to one another about rotation axis 52 and article molds 46 are coupled to faces 54. Each article mold 46 may have any desired shape and each article mold 46 may be uncoupled from rotor 44 and replaced with a different shaped article mold 46. In some embodiments, at least two axially extending rows of article molds 46 are coupled to each of the plurality of faces 54 included in rotor 44 as shown in Fig. 13 and 13A. In some embodiments, only one axially extending row of article molds 46 is coupled to each of the plurality of faces 54 included in rotor 44 as shown in Fig. 13B.

[0065] Some polymeric materials such as, for example, polypropylene are prone to curl at the edge during rotary thermoforming. The curled edges may result in article -blank webs and articles being out of desired dimensional tolerance. For example, the articles may be rejected for not being level. Additionally, a sheet having curled edges may be more difficult to convey through the manufacturing process, may be more difficult to handle by hand or machine, and/or may cause issues in downstream operations such as, for example, in the cutting operation.

[0066] In one example, an inner side of a sheet 30 made from polypropylene is cooled by rotor 44 and an outer side of sheet 30 is exposed to room temperature air. The temperature difference may be one factor that causes edges 34, 36 of sheet to curl up. Other polymeric materials such as, for example, polystyrene may not exhibit this behavior.

[0067] Rotary thermoformer 16 of the present disclosure further includes a curl-blocking strip 48 that blocks edge curl of the sheet 30 during rotary thermoforming process 106 as shown in Fig. 13. Curl-blocking strip 48 is defined by a plurality of protrusions 50 that extend radially outward away from rotor 44 toward sheet 30 to engage and block edges 34, 36 of sheet 30 from curling away from rotor 44 during rotary thermoforming stage 106 as shown in Figs. 14 and 15. Because edges 34, 36 of sheet 30 are blocked from curling, article blanks 38 located adjacent edges 34, 36 of article-blank web 32 are substantially level and within desired dimensional tolerances. As a result, the potential for article blanks 38 and articles 10 being rejected for being out of dimensional tolerance is reduced.

[0068] Rotor includes a first end and an opposite second end as shown in Fig. 13. A curl-blocking strip 48 is located adjacent each of the first end and the second end on one more of faces 54. In illustrative embodiments, curl-blocking strips 48 are coupled to each face 54. Article molds 46 are located axially between curl-blocking strips 48. In the illustrative embodiment, a curl-blocking strip 48 is located adjacent each of the first end and the second end and article molds 46 are located axially between the pair of curl-blocking strips 48.

[0069] One embodiment of curl-blocking strip 48 includes a pattern of diamond shaped protrusions 50 as shown in Fig. 14. As sheet 30 is applied to rotor 44 of rotary thermoformer 16, edges 34, 36 of sheet 30 mold onto diamond shaped protrusions 50 which block edges 34, 36 from curling. In other embodiments, protrusions 50 may be any other shape or combination of shapes that block edges 34, 36 from curling.

[0070] The shrinkage rate of a polymeric material may be one factor associated with its tendency to experience edge curl. As an example, polymeric materials having a shrinkage rate of greater than about 0.007 inches per 1 inch may be more likely to experience edge curl during rotary thermoforming. As another example, polymeric materials having a shrinkage rate of between about 0.007 inches per 1 inch and 0.020 inches per one inch may be more likely to experience edge curl during rotary thermoforming. As another example, polymeric materials having a shrinkage rate of between about 0.007 inches per 1 inch and 0.018 inches per one inch may be more likely to experience edge curl during rotary thermoforming. As another example, polymeric materials having a shrinkage rate of between about 0.016 inches per 1 inch and 0.018 inches per one inch may be more likely to experience edge curl during rotary thermoforming.

[0071] Curl-blocking strips 48 are defined by the plurality of protrusions 50 as shown in

Fig. 13-15. Protrusions 50 form a pattern and are integrally formed with rotor 44 in some embodiments. In other embodiments, curl-blocking strips 48 may be uncoupled from rotor 44 and replaced with different curl-blocking strips 48. In the illustrative embodiments, protrusions 50 are raised diamond shaped. Each curl-blocking strip 48 is located axially between an edge 34, 36 and an outermost lid blank 38. Because curl-blocking strips 48 are optional, curl-blocking strips 48 may be uncoupled from or not formed in rotor 44 in some embodiments.

[0072] As shown in Fig. 14, each curl-blocking strip 48 includes a plurality of rows of protrusions 50. Illustratively, curl-blocking strip 48 includes seven rows of protrusions 50. In other embodiments, curl-blocking strip 48 includes one or more rows of protrusions 50. Each protrusion is generally ellipse shaped with pointed ends 51, 53. Protrusions in a given row are oriented with their ends 51, 53 aligned in a first direction. Protrusions in adjacent rows are oriented with their ends 51, 53 aligned in a second direction. In the illustrative embodiment, the second direction is different than the first direction. As shown in Fig. 14, the second direction is offset from the first direction by about 90 degrees. The alternating first and second direction alignments block sheet 30 from pulling/curling off in any direction.

[0073] Each protrusion has a steep side surface 55 such that side surface 55 has no draft or little draft). In some embodiments, side surface 55 extends away from face 54 of rotor 44 by about 90 degrees. Having no or little draft on side surface 55 blocks sheet 30 from easily releasing from curl-blocking strip 48 until sheet 30 moves perpendicularly away from curl-blocking strip 48. Side surface 55 and pointed ends 51, 53 may cooperate to block sheet 30 from releasing from curl-blocking strip 48 in a lateral direction. As a result, sheet 30 may release from curl-blocking strip 48 when sheet 30 moves away from curl-blocking strip 48 in about a perpendicular direction. Side surface 55 has a height of about 0.060 inches in the illustrative embodiment. In other embodiments, side surface 55 has a height of about 0.030 to about 0.080 inches.

[0074] During rotary thermoforming stage 106, sheet 30 is wrapped at least partway about rotary thermoformer 16 to cause sheet 30 to thermoform to article mold 46 and curl-blocking strip 48 (if present) and form article -blank web 32 as suggested in Fig. 13. A portion of sheet 30 engages faces 54 and article molds 46 as rotor 44 rotates about axis 52. Rotation of rotor 44 causes the edge of each face 54 and article molds 46 to stretch sheet 30 away from roller 14. Rotation of rotor 44 causes sheet 30 to mold to face 54 and article molds 46.

[0075] The circumferential width of each face 54 may have an effect on controlling sheet 30 and the thickness uniformity of sheet 30 and article-blank web 32. To fit two or more rows of molds 46 onto a single face 54 may result in faces 54 with relatively large widths. Faces with too large of widths may result in article-blank webs 32 that have non-uniform thicknesses due to the stretching of sheet 30 caused by rotation of the faces. As such, some embodiments include faces 54 with a single row of molds 46 as shown in Fig. 13B.

[0076] In some embodiments, a vacuum is applied to rotor 44. In some embodiments, the vacuum is between about one and about thirty inches of mercury. In some embodiments, the vacuum is between about ten and about thirty inches of mercury. In some embodiments, the vacuum is between about ten and about twenty inches of mercury. In some embodiments, the vacuum is between about fifteen and about twenty inches of mercury. In some embodiments, the vacuum is about one to 30 inches of mercury. In some embodiments, the vacuum is about fifteen inches of mercury.

[0077] Rotary thermoformer 16 may be temperature controlled by flowing fluid through rotary thermoformer 16 for example. In some embodiments, rotary thermoformer 16 is cooled with fluid at between about 60 degrees and about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In some

embodiments, rotary thermoformer 16 is cooled with fluid at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In illustrative embodiments, rotary thermoformer 16 has a temperature of between about 30 degrees Fahrenheit and about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. In some embodiments, rotary

thermoformer 16 has a temperature of between about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

[0078] Rotary thermoforming sheet 30 forms article-blank web 32 as suggested in Fig.

13. Article-blank web 32 is moved away from rotor 44 as rotary thermoformer 16 continues to rotate about rotation axis 52. Article-blank web 32 includes article blanks 38 formed by article molds 46 as shown in Fig. 16. In the illustrative embodiment, article blanks 38 are lid blanks. Article blanks 38 are cut downstream to provide articles 10 and, in the illustrative embodiment, lids 210.

[0079] In embodiments that use curl-blocking strips 48, a strip pattern 56 is formed in article-blank web 32 by curl-blocking strips 48 as shown in Fig. 16. Strip pattern 56 is located between an edge 34, 36 and an article blank 38. Strip pattern 56 is thermoformed to curl-blocking strip 48 during rotary thermoforming stage 106 which blocks edges 34, 36 of article-blank web 32 from curling. In contrast, a prior art article-blank web comprising certain polymeric materials and formed in a rotary thermoforming stage without curl-blocking strip 48 is shown in Fig. 17 and the edges of the article-blank web are curled outward. Strip pattern 56 also provides additional structure to edges 34, 36 which may improve handling of article-blank web 32 in downstream stages of article-manufacturing process 100.

[0080] Rotary thermoforming stage 106 includes an optional strip cooling step in some embodiments as shown in Fig. 18. The cooling step uses strip-cooling air blowers 80 to direct relatively cool fluid toward sheet 30 and curl-blocking strips 48. The cooling step comprises directing forced fluid toward rotor 44 at a location aligned axially with curl-blocking strips 48. In other words, air blowers 80 may direct forced fluid toward sheet 30 and curl-blocking strips 48. The cooling step may increase the speed of thermoforming sheet 30 to curl-blocking strips 48 which may decrease edge curl experienced by sheet 30. In other embodiments, fluids other than air may be directed toward sheet 30 using air blowers 80.

[0081] Outlets of air blowers 80 are positioned up to about 48 inches away from sheet

30 in some embodiments. In one embodiment, for example, an outlet of an air blower 80 is positioned about 5 inches away from sheet 30. Blown or compressed air may be directed toward sheet 30. In some embodiments, air blowers 80 direct compressed air at between about 1 and about 40 psi toward sheet 30. Air directed toward sheet 30 from air blowers 80 has a relatively lower temperature than a temperature of sheet 30 located just prior to air blowers 80. Air blown by blowers 80 has a temperature of below about 350 degrees Fahrenheit in some embodiments. In some embodiments, air blown by blowers 80 has a temperature of below

about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. In other examples, the air blown by blowers 80 has a temperature lower than a temperature of sheet 30.

[0082] Article -blank web 32 is moved to cutting stage 108 after rotary thermoforming stage 106 as shown in Fig. 3. In illustrative embodiments, cutting stage 108 uses either reciprocating cutter 18 or rotary cutter 20 to cut articles 10 from article blanks 38 formed in article-blank web 32 as suggested in Figs. 19-22.

[0083] In some embodiments, cutting stage 108 includes reciprocating cutter 18 as shown in Figs. 19 and 20. Article -blank web 32 is moved between an upper-press die 58 and a lower-press die 60 included in reciprocating cutter 18. Upper-press die 58 and lower-press die 60 are moved toward one another and crush cut article-blank web 32 to provide article 10. During the cutting, movement of article-blank web 32 is temporarily stopped while upper-press die 58 and the lower-press die 60 move relative to one another. Portions of article-blank web 32 may be cut from the continuously formed web 32 into panels before cutting stage 108 for cutting using reciprocating cutter 18 because of the start and stop characteristics of

reciprocating cutter 18.

[0084] In some embodiments, articles 10 are lids 210 that are cut using reciprocating cutter 18. Sheet 30 may have a thickness (sometimes called the gauge of the sheet) of about twelve thousandths of an inch or greater when using reciprocating cutter 18.

[0085] In some embodiments, cutting stage 108 includes rotary cutter 20 as shown in

Figs. 21 and 22. Article-blank web 32 is moved between an upper-rotor die 62 and a lower-rotor die 64 included in rotary cutter 20. Upper-rotor die 62 and lower-rotor die 64 each rotate about a corresponding rotation axis 63, 65 relative to one another. Article -blank web 32 is moved continuously through rotary cutter 20 during the cutting stage.

[0086] In some embodiments, articles 10 are lids 210 and are cut using rotary cutter 20.

In such embodiments using rotary cutter 20, sheet 30 may have an average thickness of between about one and about fifty-five thousandths of an inch. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of between about one and about nine thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of about six thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of about nine thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of between about eight and about nine thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of between about six and about ten thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of between about eight and about twelve thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of about twelve thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of less than about twelve thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some embodiments, sheet 30 has an average thickness of about eleven thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. In some

embodiments, sheet 30 has thickness of about ten thousandths of an inch when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage. Other articles 10 such as, for example, trays, bowls, containers, etc. may be formed by sheet 30 having similar thicknesses when rotary cutter 20 is used for the cutting stage.

[0087] In some embodiments, rotary cutter 20 is maintained at about 70 degrees

Fahrenheit. Using rotary cutter 20 with rotary thermoformer 16 may allow for the production of articles 10 having a desired transparency and sheet thickness. As an example, rotary thermoformer 16 may allow for lids 210 with a desired transparency and rotary cutter 20 may allow for lids 210 to have an average thickness of between about six and about ten thousandths of an inch.

[0088] Sheet 30 has a width greater than about 30 inches in illustrative embodiment. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 30 inches and about 100 inches. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 30 inches and about 80 inches. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 50 inches and about 80 inches. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 50 inches and about 70 inches. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 50 inches and about 60 inches. In some embodiments, the width of sheet 30 is between about 55 inches and about 60 inches.

[0089] The present disclosure provides methods and apparatus for manufacturing continuously a plurality of articles 10 from a sheet having a width of greater than about 30 inches. Edge curl of sheet 30 increases at least as a function of the width of sheet 30. In conventional processes, the edge curl is too great for sheets having a width of 30 inches or greater. Shrinkage rate of sheet 30 is at least one factor that affects edge curl on the sheet. The shrinkage rate of a sheet is applied per inch width such that as the width of the sheet increases, the shrinkage of the sheet and, therefore, edge curl of the sheet increases. According to the present disclosure, curl-blocking strips 48 and optionally air blowers 80 minimize edge curl of sheet 30 and allow for sheet 30 to have a relatively large width.

[0090] The gram weight standard deviation for a given model of article 10 can indicate the consistency of the thickness of articles 10. Low variation in thickness between articles 10 of the same model may provide products with higher consistency. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of a plurality of articles 10 of the same model is between about 0.040 and about 0.180. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is between about 0.050 and about 0.170. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is between about 0.050 and 0.110. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is between about 0.085 and 0.090. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is between about 0.050 and 0.080. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is between about 0.050 and 0.090. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is about 0.050. In some embodiments, the gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is no greater than about 0.050.

[0091] The gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is less than about 8 percent of the total gram weight of article 10 in some embodiments. The gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is less than about 4 percent of the total gram weight of article 10 in some embodiments. The gram weight standard deviation of articles 10 is about or less than about 2 percent of the total gram weight of article 10 in some embodiments. As one example, lid 210 has a target total gram weight of 2.5 grams and the standard deviation is about 0.050 grams. The gram weight range of a plurality of articles 10 of the same model may be described in terms of a number of sigma. In one example, the range may be plus and minus three sigma or three standard deviations.

[0092] In some embodiments, at least one of upper-rotor die 62 and lower-rotor die 64 is formed to include article-receiver apertures 90 as shown in Fig. 21. Article blanks 38 are moved into article-receiver apertures 90 which align article blanks 38 ahead of cutting. As a result, article blanks 38 may be more accurately cut to desired dimensional tolerances. In the illustrative embodiment, rotary cutter 20 further cuts an auxiliary cut 88 into article 10 at the same time as cutting article 10 from article blank 38 which may eliminate other cutting steps and machines. Auxiliary slot 88 is illustratively a straw slot formed in lid 210, but other auxiliary cuts are envisioned. In other embodiments, no auxiliary cut 88 is made in article 10. [0093] Rotary cutter 20 dispenses cut articles 10 in a line in some embodiments.

Dispensing cut articles 10 in a line may help in inspecting, collecting, stacking, and bagging of cut articles 10.

[0094] Stacking stage 110 of article-manufacturing process 100 is optional and shown in Figs. 23-26. Stacking stage 110 may be performed by manually stacking articles 10, pushing articles 10 into a stack, using a wheel stacker, or any other suitable alternative methods. As shown in Figs. 23 and 24, stacking stage uses a pinch belt 71 and a star- wheel stacker 26 to stack articles 10 into a stack 66 of articles 10 in the illustrative embodiment. Illustratively, the articles 10 are lids 210 and are stacked using star- wheel stacker 26.

[0095] Star- wheel stacker 26 is mounted to rotate about a stacker axis and is formed to include a plurality of notches 27 that extend into star-wheel stacker 26 for receiving articles 10. Articles 10 are directed continuously into star-wheel stacker 26 which aligns each article 10 with a plurality of articles 10 to form stack 66 of articles 10. Pinch belts 71 may be used to provide streams of single rows of articles 10. The single rows of articles 10 may allow for better inspection of articles 10 and for diverting a single rejected article 10 or a row of rejected articles 10 out of process 100 and into a waste process.

[0096] Stacking stage 110 further includes a canister 67 in some embodiments as shown in Figs. 25 and 26. Canister 67 is arranged to receive a plurality of stacks 66 of articles 10. Canister 67 is configured to be pickable by a robot 69 during article-manufacturing process 100 as suggested in Fig. 26. Robot 69 is configured to move canisters 67 of stacked articles 10 to a conveyer belt that moves stacked articles 10 to an optional bagging stage 112. In bagging stage 112, articles 10 are bagged and transported and/or stored as suggested in Fig. 3.

[0097] Shallow draw thermoformed articles 10 made using the article-manufacturing process 100 of the present disclosure may have a draw ratio of about 2.0 or less where the draw ratio is the height/diameter of article 10 (or height/width for non-round articles). In some embodiments, the draw ratio is between about 0.065 and about 2.0. In some embodiments, the draw ratio is between about 0.065 and about 0.11. In some embodiments, the draw ratio is between about 0.07 and about 0.1. In some embodiments, the draw ratio is between about 0.1 and about 0.6. In some embodiments, the draw ratio is about 2.05.

[0098] Shallow draw thermoformed articles 10 made using the article-manufacturing process 100 of the present disclosure may have a final height of up to about 5 inches. In other embodiments, articles 10 may have a final height greater than 5 inches depending on the draw ratio. In illustrative embodiments where article 10 is a drink cup lid 210, drink cup lid 210 has a height of between about 0.28 inches and about 0.33 inches. In other embodiments, shallow draw articles 10 may have a height of about 4.7 inches. In other embodiments, shallow draw articles 10 may have a height between about .7 inches and about 2.2 inches. In other embodiments, shallow draw articles 10 may have a height between about 0.3 inches and about 4.7 inches. In other embodiments, shallow draw articles 10 may have a height between about 1.0 inch and about 3.6 inches. In other embodiments, shallow draw articles 10 may have a height between about 0.3 inches and about 1 inch.

[0099] A method of making a shallow draw thermoformed article may include a number of steps. The method may include extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials, conditioning the sheet on a conditioning roller, rotary thermoforming the sheet to provide a web, and cutting the web to provide a shallow draw thermoformed article. In some

embodiments, the rotary thermoforming stage includes applying the sheet to a rotary thermoformer. The conditioning roller may have an outer surface having a surface roughness of between about 100 Ra (microinches) and about 240 Ra (microinches).

[00100] The rotary thermoformer includes a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis of the rotary thermoformer and at least one article mold coupled to the rotor for rotation therewith. In some embodiments, the rotary thermoformer includes a curl-blocking strip including a plurality of protrusions that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward the sheet to engage and block the sheet from curling away from the rotor during the rotary thermoforming stage.

[00101] In illustrative embodiments, sheet 30 and, thus, shallow drawn thermoformed article 10 such as, for example, lid 210 is made with polymeric material. In some

embodiments, the polymeric materials include one or more of polypropylene, ethylene, polyethylene, polylactic acid, polyactide, and polyethylene terephthalate. In some

embodiments, polymeric materials include polystyrene. In some embodiments, polymeric materials include high impact polystyrene.

[00102] In some embodiments, sheet 30 and, thus, shallow drawn thermoformed article 10 is made from non-aromatic polymeric materials such that article 10 is free from polystyrene. In other words, article 10 is free from aromatic materials in some embodiments. As used herein, the term non- aromatic polymer refers to a polymer that is devoid of aromatic ring structures (e.g., phenyl groups) in its polymer chain. A non-aromatic polymeric material is a polymeric material free of aromatic polymers, styrenenic polymers, or polystyrene. In illustrative examples, the non-aromatic polymeric materials include polypropylene.

[00103] Aromatic molecules typically display enhanced hydrophobicity when compared to non-aromatic molecules. As a result, it would be expected that a polypropylene-based polymeric material instead of a polystyrene-based polymeric material would result in a change in hydrophobicity with a concomitant, but not necessarily predictable or desirable, change in surface adsorption properties of the resulting material. In addition, by virtue of the hydrocarbon chain in polystyrene, wherein alternating carbon centers are attached to phenyl groups, neighboring phenyl groups can engage in so-called pi-stacking, which is a mechanism contributing to the high intramolecular strength of polystyrene and other aromatic polymers. No similar mechanism is available for non-aromatic polymers such as polypropylene.

Moreover, notwithstanding similar chemical reactivity and chemical resistance properties of polystyrene and polypropylene, polystyrene can be either thermosetting or thermoplastic when manufactured whereas polypropylene is exclusively thermoplastic. As a result, to the extent that surface adsorption properties, manufacturing options, and strength properties similar to those of polystyrene are sought, likely alternatives to polystyrene-based polymeric materials would be found in another aromatic polymer rather than in a non-aromatic polymer.

[00104] The use of non-aromatic materials may affect recyclability, insulation, microwavability, impact resistance, or other properties. At least one potential feature of an article formed of non-aromatic polymeric material according to various aspects of the present disclosure is that the article can be recycled. Recyclable means that a material can be added (such as regrind) back into an extrusion or other formation process without segregation of components of the material, i.e., an article formed of the material does not have to be manipulated to remove one or more materials or components prior to re-entering the extrusion process. In contrast, a polystyrene article may not be recyclable. In one example, an article made from non-aromatic or styrene-free materials may simplify recycling.

[00105] In illustrative embodiments, article 10 is transparent. Outer surface 42 of conditioning roller 14 is textured to have a surface roughness value that provides a desired control of sheet 30 and transparency and surface finish of article 10. In accordance with the present disclosure, the term transparent incorporates a range of transparency values including translucent to fully transparent values. Furthermore, the term transparent encompasses transmittance, wide angle scattering (sometimes referred to as haze), narrow angle scattering (sometimes referred to as clarity or see-through quality), and any other factor affecting the ability to see through article 10. In other embodiments, article 10 is not transparent.

[00106] Illustratively, article 10 is lid 210 that is transparent to allow a consumer to view contents of interior liquid- storage region of cup on which lid 210 is mated through article 10. Lid 210 is transparent and made of non- aromatic polymeric materials. The transparency may be defined by clarity and haze values and examples of clarity and haze values for articles 10 formed using conditioning rollers 14 having different outer surface 42 texture roughness are shown in Fig. 27. Articles 10 having a desired transparency may be formed using roller 14 having outer surface 42 with a surface roughness of less than about 400 Ra. In illustrative embodiments, articles 10 having a desired transparency are formed using roller 14 having outer surface 42 with surface roughness of between about 100 Ra and about 240 Ra.

[00107] The clarity of article 10 as discussed herein is measured using ASTM D 1746 which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 40% to about 95%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 50% to about 95%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 55% to about 95%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 60% to about 95%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 55% to about 65%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 65% to about 75%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 70% to about 95%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 70% to about 90%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 70% to about 85%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 70% to about 80%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is in a range of about 65% to about 85%.

[00108] In illustrative embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is greater than about 70%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is greater than about 60%. In some

embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is greater than about 65%. In some embodiments, the clarity of article 10 is greater than about 75%.

[00109] In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 56.2%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 58.5%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 63.7%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 60.2%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 70.2%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 80.9%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 94.8%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 74.2%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 71.2%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 70.3%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 65.8%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 63.2%. In some examples,

the clarity of article 10 is about 54.6%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 47.7%.

[00110] The haze of article 10 as discussed herein is measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 10% to about 60%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 10% to about 40%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 20% to about 38%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 20% to about 40%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 30% to about 40%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 14% to about 25%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 0% to about 30%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 10% to about 30%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is in a range of about 20% to about 28%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is less than about 60%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is less than about 50%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is less than about 40%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is less than about 30%.

[00111] In illustrative embodiments, the haze of article 10 is less than about 30%. In some embodiments, the haze of article 10 is less than about 29%. In illustrative embodiments, the haze of article 10 is less than about 28%. In illustrative embodiments, the haze of article 10 is less than about 40%.

[00112] In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 36.9%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 23.0%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 21.5%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 20.2%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 23.5%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 18.8%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 14.1%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 28.3%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 31.4%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 32.4%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 32.8%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 39.9%. In some examples, the haze of article 10 is about 29.1%.

[00113] In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is greater than about 70% and the haze is less than about 30%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 74.2% and the haze is about 28.3%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 71.2% and the haze is about 32.8%. In some examples, the clarity of article 10 is about 63.2% and the haze is about 32.8%.

[00114] When forming transparent articles 10, the average haze and the average clarity of articles 10 may be varied at least by varying the surface roughness of outer surface 42 of roller 14. Table 1 shown below provides characteristics of a number of example transparent articles 10 formed using conditioning rollers 14 with different average surface roughness values on the portion of the outer surface 42 that aligns with molds 46.

Example Example Example Example Example Example Example 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Average 140- 160- 400/200/ 340- 400Ra

Roughness 8Ra lOORa 160Ra 200Ra 400Ra 360Ra

Average

Haze 32.4 31.4 28.3 32.8 33.5 39.9 29.1

Average

Clarity 70.3 65.8 74.2 71.2 70.5 54.6 47.7

Average

Sheet

Gauge

(thousandth

of an inch) 0.010 0.0120 0.012 0.011 0.012 0.011 0.008

Gram

Weight

Standard

Deviation 0.170 0.090 0.085 0.110 0.050 N/A N/A

Gram

Weight

Range

(+/- 3σ) 1.020 0.540 0.510 0.660 0.300 N/A N/A

Table 1 : Example Article Data Summary

[00116] Illustratively article 10 is lid 210 which includes a ring-shaped brim mount 82, a central closure 84, and a plurality of deformable product-identification domes 86 as shown, for example, in Fig. 2. Reference is hereby made to U.S. Application Serial No. 15/946,023, filed April 05, 2018 for disclosure relating to lids in accordance with the present disclosure, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety herein.

[00117] Brim mount 82 is configured to mount with a brim included in a container. Central closure 84 is appended to brim mount 82 and adapted to block access into an interior liquid- storage region of the container. Product-identification domes 86 append from central closure 84 and are configured to move from an un-deformed arrangement to a deformed arrangement to indicate visually a selected flavor of a liquid beverage stored in the container. In some embodiments, deformable product-identification domes 86 are omitted from lid 210.

[00118] In some embodiments, each product-identification dome 86 is less transparent in the deformed arrangement than the un-deformed arrangement to indicate visually a selected flavor of a liquid beverage stored in an interior liquid-storage region of a cup. In some embodiments, each product-identification dome 86 is relatively opaque in the deformed

arrangement as compared to the un-deformed arrangement to indicate visually a selected flavor of a liquid beverage stored in an interior liquid-storage region of a cup. In some embodiments, each product-identification dome 86 has portions that are transparent and portions that are relatively opaque in the deformed arrangement as compared to having all portions being relatively transparent in the un-deformed arrangement to indicate visually a selected flavor of a liquid beverage stored in an interior liquid- storage region of a cup. A consumer may be able to see through product-identification domes 86 when product-identification domes 86 are in the un-deformed arrangement and the deformed arrangement.

[00119] Product-identification domes 86 share the clarity and haze values of article 10 when product-identification domes 86 are in the first arrangement. In other words, product-identification domes 86 share the clarity and haze values of article 10 before product-identification domes 86 are depressed downward.

[00120] Article 10 is made, for example, by thermoforming sheet 30 in an article-manufacturing process in accordance with the illustrative embodiments of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, sheet 30 is a single-layer sheet that comprises a polymeric mixture. In other embodiments, sheet 30 is a multi-layer sheet. In one aspect, the polymeric mixture may be formed through an extrusion process of a formulation. In some embodiments, article 10 is made from a polymeric non-aromatic sheet of material having a formulation.

[00121] Illustratively, the formulation for forming sheet 30 may be added to a hopper on an extrusion machine and heated to produce a molten material in an extruder. The molten material may be extruded to produce the single-layer sheet 30. In some embodiments, the single-layer sheet 30 has a density between 0.8 g/cm3 and 1.1 g/cm3. In some embodiments, the single-layer sheet has a density of about 0.902 g/cm3. In some embodiments, the single-layer sheet has a density of about 0.9 g/cm3.

[00122] The polymeric mixture of sheet 30 may comprise, for example, a plastic polymer, a material, or a resin, and may optionally include one or more additives. Examples of plastic polymers, resins, or materials suitable for single-layer sheet 30 include high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and copolymers of any combination of ethylene, propylene, butylene, and any other suitable alpha-olefin. In some aspects, the plastic polymer, material, or resin may be called a base resin.

[00123] In one aspect, the polypropylene may be a polypropylene homopolymer, a polypropylene copolymer, a polypropylene impact copolymer, or combinations thereof. In

some embodiments, the polypropylene may contain an additive. In some aspects, the polypropylene copolymer is a random copolymer.

[00124] In some examples, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric mixture comprising a first polypropylene and a second polypropylene. In some examples, the first polypropylene may be a homopolymer. In some examples, the second polypropylene may be a polypropylene impact copolymer. In some examples, sheet 30 comprises a first polypropylene, a second

polypropylene, and a polypropylene random copolymer.

[00125] In some examples, the polypropylene homopolymer may be a high crystallinity homopolymer. In some examples, the polypropylene homopolymer may comprise a nucleating agent. In some examples, the polypropylene homopolymer is Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N.

[00126] In some examples, a polypropylene impact copolymer comprises a copolymer of ethylene and propylene. In some examples, a polypropylene impact copolymer is a

heterophasic in-situ blend comprising an ethylene/propylene rubber (EPR) component. In some examples, a polypropylene impact copolymer is a heterophasic in-situ blend comprising an ethylene/propylene rubber (EPR) component distributed inside a semi-crystalline polypropylene homopolymer matrix. Illustratively, a polypropylene impact copolymer comprises a rubber phase and a polypropylene matrix phase. In some examples, a polypropylene impact copolymer may be produced with a Ziegler Natta catalyst. In some examples, a polypropylene impact copolymer is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic resin. In some examples, the

polypropylene impact copolymer contains a nucleating agent. In some examples, the polypropylene impact copolymer is LyondellBasell Pro-fax™ SC204.

[00127] In some embodiments, sheet 30 has a rubber content up to about 50% by weight of sheet. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises at least 0.05%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 12%, 14%, 16%, 18%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, or 40% by weight rubber. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a first series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 50%, about 0.5% to about 40%, about 0.5% to about 30%, about 0.5% to about 20%, about 0.5% to about 18%, about 0.5% to about 16%, about 0.5% to about 10%, or about 0.5% to about 5% by weight of the single-layer sheet. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a second series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 20%, about 1% to about 20%, about 2% to about 20%, about 2.5% to about 20%, about 2.5% to about 20%, about 3% to about 20%, about 3.5% to about 20%, about 4% to about 20%, about 4.5% to about 20%, about 5% to about 20%, about 6% to about 20%, or about 7% to about 20% by weight of sheet 30. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a third series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 20%, about 1% to about 20%, about 1.5% to about 20%, about 2% to about 20%, about 2% to about 15%, about 2% to about 10%, about 2% to about 8%, or about 2% to about 5% by weight of the single-layer sheet. In some examples, the rubber content is about 0.5%, about 1%, about 1.5%, about 2%, about 2.5%, about 3%, about 3.5% about 4%, about 4.5% about 5%, about 6%, about 7%, about 7.5%, about 8%, about 8.5%, about 9%, about 9.5%, about 10%, about 12%, about 14%, about 16%, about 18%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, or about 50% by weight of sheet 30.

[00128] In some examples, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric mixture comprising a base resin and a secondary resin. Illustratively, sheet 30 may comprise up to 99% base resin. In some examples, sheet 30 may comprise up to 99% secondary resin. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of base resin selected from a range of about 5% to about 95%, about 10% to about 95%, about 10% to about 85%, about 20% to about 85%, about 20% to about 75%, about 30% to about 75%, about 40% to about 75%, or about 40% to about 60% by weight of sheet. In some embodiments, sheet 30 may comprise an amount of base resin selected from a range of about 15% to about 75%, about 15% to about 65%, about 15% to about 50%, about 20% to about 50%, or about 25% to about 45% by weight of sheet, sheet 30 may comprise an amount of base resin of about 5%, about 10%, about 15%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, about 48%, about 49%, about 50%, about 51%, about 52%, about 55%, about 60%, about 65%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 95% by weight of sheet. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of secondary resin selected from a range of about 5% to about 95%, about 10% to about 95%, about 10% to about 85%, about 20% to about 85%, about 20% to about 75%, about 25% to about 70%, about 30% to about 75%, about 40% to about 75%, about 45% to about 65%, or about 40% to about 60% by weight of sheet. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of secondary resin of about 5%, about 10%, about 15%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, about 48%, about 49%, about 50%, about 51%, about 52%, about 55%, about 60%, about 65%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 95% by weight of sheet. In some examples, sheet 30 comprises about 50% base resin and about 50% secondary resin. In some examples, sheet 30 comprises about 50% base resin and about 49% secondary resin. In some examples, the single-layer sheet comprises about 35% base resin and about 55% secondary resin. In some embodiments, the base resin is a polypropylene. In some

embodiments, the secondary resin is a polypropylene. In some examples both the base resin and the secondary resin are a polypropylene. In some embodiments, the base resin is a

polypropylene homopolymer. In some embodiments, the secondary resin is a polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, the base resin is a polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, the secondary resin is a polypropylene homopolymer.

[00129] In some examples, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric mixture comprising a polypropylene homopolymer and a polypropylene impact copolymer. Illustratively, sheet 30 may comprise up to 99% polypropylene homopolymer. In some examples, sheet 30 may comprise up to 99% polypropylene impact copolymer. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of polypropylene homopolymer selected from a range of about 5% to about 95%, about 10% to about 95%, about 10% to about 85%, about 20% to about 85%, about 20% to about 75%, about 30% to about 75%, about 40% to about 75%, or about 40% to about 60% by weight of sheet. In some embodiments, sheet 30 may comprise an amount of polypropylene homopolymer selected from a range of about 15% to about 75%, about 15% to about 65%, about 15% to about 50%, about 20% to about 50%,or about 25% to about 45% by weight of sheet. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of polypropylene homopolymer of about 5%, about 10%, about 15%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, about 48%, about 49%, about 50%, about 51%, about 52%, about 55%, about 60%, about 65%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 95% by weight of sheet. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of polypropylene impact copolymer selected from a range of about 5% to about 95%, about 10% to about 95%, about 10% to about 85%, about 20% to about 85%, about 20% to about 75%, about 25% to about 70%, about 30% to about 75%, about 40% to about 75%, about 45% to about 65%, or about 40% to about 60% by weight of sheet. Sheet 30 may comprise an amount of polypropylene impact copolymer of about 5%, about 10%, about 15%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, about 48%, about 49%, about 50%, about 51%, about 52%, about 55%, about 60%, about 65%, about 70%, about 80%, or about 95% by weight of sheet. In some examples, sheet 30 comprises about 50% polypropylene homopolymer and about 50% polypropylene impact copolymer. In some examples, sheet 30 comprises about 50% polypropylene homopolymer and about 49% polypropylene impact copolymer. In some examples, the single-layer sheet comprises about 35% polypropylene homopolymer and about 55% polypropylene impact copolymer.

[00130] In some embodiments, sheet 30 has a rubber content up to about 50% by weight of sheet. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises at least 0.05%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 12%, 14%, 16%, 18%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, or 40% by weight rubber. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a first series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 50%, about 0.5% to about 40%, about 0.5% to about 30%, about 0.5% to about 20%, about 0.5% to about 18%, about 0.5% to about 16%, about 0.5% to about 10%, or about 0.5% to about 5% by weight of the single-layer sheet. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a second series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 20%, about 1% to about 20%, about 2% to about 20%, about 2.5% to about 20%, about 2.5% to about 20%, about 3% to about 20%, about 3.5% to about 20%, about 4% to about 20%, about 4.5% to about 20%, about 5% to about 20%, about 6% to about 20%, or about 7% to about 20% by weight of sheet 30. In some embodiments, the rubber content of sheet 30 can be selected from a third series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 20%, about 1% to about 20%, about 1.5% to about 20%, about 2% to about 20%, about 2% to about 15%, about 2% to about 10%, about 2% to about 8%, or about 2% to about 5% by weight of the single-layer sheet. In some examples, the rubber content is about 0.5%, about 1%, about 1.5%, about 2%, about 2.5%, about 3%, about 3.5% about 4%, about 4.5% about 5%, about 6%, about 7%, about 7.5%, about 8%, about 8.5%, about 9%, about 9.5%, about 10%, about 12%, about 14%, about 16%, about 18%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, or about 50% by weight of sheet 30.

[00131] In some embodiments, the polypropylene homopolymer has a melt flow as measured by ASTM Method D1238 (230 °C, 2.16 kg) of a range of about 1 g/10 min to about 10 g/10 min, about 1 g/10 min to about 5 g/10 min, or about 1 g/10 min to about 4 g/10 min. In some examples, the polypropylene homopolymer has a melt flow as measured by ASTM Method D1238 (230 °C, 2.16 kg) of about 1 g/10 min, about 1.5 g/10 min, about 2 g/10 min, about 2.5 g/10 min, about 3 g/10 min, about 3.5 g/10 min, about 4 g/10 min, about 5 g/10 min, about 6 g/10 min, about 7 g/10 min, about 8 g/10 min, or about 10 g/10 min.

[00132] In some embodiments, the polypropylene homopolymer has a flexural modular as measured by ASTM Method D790A (0.05 in/min, 1% secant) of a range of about 100,000 psi to about 700,000 psi, about 100,000 psi to about 600,000 psi, about 100,000 psi to about 500,000 psi, or about 200,000 psi to about 500,000 psi. In some examples, the polypropylene homopolymer has a flexural modular as measured by ASTM Method D790A (0.05 in min, 1 % secant) of about 100,000 psi, about 200,000 psi, about 250,000 psi, about 300,000 psi, about 350,000 psi, about 400,000 psi, about 500,000 psi, about 600,000 psi, or about 700,000 psi.

[00133] In some embodiments, the polypropylene impact copolymer has a melt flow as measured by ASTM Method D1238 (230 °C, 2.16 kg) of a range of about 1 g/10 min to about 10 g/10 min, about 1 g/10 min to about 8 g/10 min, about 2 g/10 min to about 8 g/10 min, or about 2 g/10 min to about 6 g/10 min. In some examples, the polypropylene impact copolymer has a melt flow as measured by ASTM Method D1238 (230 °C, 2.16 kg) of about 1 g/10 min, about 2 g/10 min, about 2.5 g/10 min, about 3 g/10 min, about 3.5 g/10 min, about 4 g/10 min, about 4.5 g/10 min, about 5 g/10 min, about 5.5 g/lOmin, about 6 g/10 min, about 7 g/10 min, about 8 g/10 min, or about 10 g/10 min.

[00134] In some embodiments, the polypropylene impact copolymer has a flexural modular as measured by ASTM Method D790A (0.05 in/min, 1 % secant) of a range of about 100,000 psi to about 700,000 psi, about 100,000 psi to about 600,000 psi, about 100,000 psi to about 500,000 psi, or about 200,000 psi to about 500,000 psi. In some examples, the polypropylene impact copolymer has a flexural modular as measured by ASTM Method D790A (0.05 in min, 1% secant) of about 100,000 psi, 200,000 psi, about 230,000 psi, about 250,000 psi, about 300,000 psi, about 350,000 psi, about 400,000 psi, about 500,000 psi, about 600,000 psi, or about 700,000 psi.

[00135] In some embodiments, the polypropylene impact copolymer has a rubber content up to about 50% by weight of the polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, the polypropylene impact copolymer comprises at least 0.05%, 1%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, 12%, 14%, 16%, 18%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, or 40% by weight rubber. In some embodiments, the rubber content of the polypropylene impact copolymer can be selected from a first series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 50%, about 0.5% to about 40%, about 0.5% to about 30%, about 0.5% to about 20%, about 0.5% to about 18%, about 0.5% to about 16%, or about 0.5% to about 10% by weight of the polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, the rubber content of the polypropylene impact copolymer can be selected from a second series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 30%, about 1% to about 30%, about 3% to about 30%, about 5% to about 30%, about 6% to about 30%, or about 7% to about 30% by weight of the polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, the rubber content of the polypropylene impact copolymer can be selected from a third series of ranges of about 0.5% to about 30%, about 1% to about 30%, about 1% to about 20%, about 2% to about 20%, about 2% to about 15%, about 3% to about 15%, about 3% to about 10%, or about 5% to about 10% by weight of the polypropylene impact copolymer. In some examples, the rubber content is about 0.5%, about 1%, about 3%, about 4%, about 5%, about 6%, about 7%, about 7.5%, about 8%, about 8.5%, about 9%, about 9.5%, about 10%, about 12%, about 14%, about 16%, about 18%, about 20%, about 25%, about 30%, about 35%, about 40%, about 45%, or about 50% by weight of the polypropylene impact copolymer.

[00136] In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric mixture further comprising an additive. Exemplary additives include a copolymer, clarifiers, process aids, slip agents, combinations thereof, or any suitable material for improving the single-layer sheet. In some embodiments, the additive is a clarifier. In some embodiments, the clarifier is a polypropylene random copolymer. In some embodiments, the additive is a copolymer. In some embodiments, the additive is a random copolymer. In some embodiments, the copolymer is an ethylene-polypropylene copolymer. In some embodiments, the copolymer is a random ethylene-polypropylene copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises Braskem RP650. In some embodiments, the additive is Braskem RP650.

[00137] In some embodiments, the additive may be up to about 20% or up to about 10% by weight of the polymeric mixture of sheet 30. In some embodiments, the additive may be selected from a range of about 0.5% to about 20%, about 0.5% to about 15%, about 5% to about 15%, about 0.5% to about 10%, about 0.5% to about 5%, or about 0.5% to about 3% by weight of sheet 30. In some embodiments sheet 30 comprises about 0.5%, about 1%, about 1.5%, about 2%, about 3%, about 4%, about 5%, about 6%, about 8%, about 10%, about 12%, about 14%, about 16%, about 18%, or about 20%, by weight of an additive. In some embodiments, the polymeric mixture of sheet 30 comprises about 0.5% to about 5% ethylene-propylene copolymer. In some embodiments, the polymeric mixture comprises about 0.5% to about 15% ethylene-propylene random copolymer. In some embodiments, the polymeric mixture comprises about 5% to about 15% ethylene-propylene random copolymer.

[00138] In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric mixture comprising a first polypropylene and a second polypropylene in accordance with the present disclosure. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a first polypropylene, a second polypropylene, and an additive. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a first polypropylene, a second polypropylene, and a random copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a first polypropylene, a second polypropylene, and an ethylene-propylene copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a first polypropylene and a second polypropylene.

[00139] In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric mixture comprising a base resin and a secondary resin in accordance with the present disclosure. In some

embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and an additive. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric

formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and a random copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and an ethylene-propylene copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a polypropylene homopolymer and an polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 comprises a polymeric formulation consisting of a polypropylene homopolymer, a polypropylene impact copolymer, and a polypropylene random copolymer.

[00140] In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric mixture consisting of a base resin and a secondary resin in accordance with the present disclosure. In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and an additive. In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and a random copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric formulation consisting of a base resin, a secondary resin, and an ethylene-propylene copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric formulation consisting of a polypropylene homopolymer and an polypropylene impact copolymer. In some embodiments, sheet 30 consists of a polymeric formulation consisting of a polypropylene homopolymer, a polypropylene impact copolymer, and a polypropylene random copolymer.

[00141] EXAMPLES

[00142] The following examples are set forth for purposes of illustration only. Parts and percentages appearing in such examples are by weight unless otherwise stipulated. All ASTM,

ISO, and other standard test methods cited or referred to in this disclosure are incorporated by reference in their entirety.

[00143] Example 1

[00144] Formulation and Extrusion

[00145] An exemplary single-layer sheet 30 in accordance with certain aspects of the present disclosure is provided in the instant example. Sheet 30 in this example is a single-layer sheet.

[00146] A polymeric mixture comprised a polypropylene homopolymer, a polypropylene impact copolymer, and a polypropylene random copolymer. The polypropylene homopolymer was Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N. The polypropylene impact copolymer was LyondellBassell Pro-fax™ SC204. The clarifier was Braskem RP650. The percentages by weight of the components were about:

[00147] 50% Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N

[00148] 49% LyondellBassell Pro-fax™ SC204

[00149] 1% Braskem RP650

[00150] The polypropylene homopolymer, the polypropylene impact copolymer, and the polypropylene random copolymer were added to an extruder hopper and combined via blending to provide a formulation. The formulation was then heated in the extruder to form a molten material. The molten material was extruded to form a single-layer sheet. The single-layer sheet was thermoformed to form a lid in accordance with the present disclosure.

[00151] Example 2

[00152] Formulation and Extrusion

[00153] An exemplary single-layer sheet 30 in accordance with certain aspects of the present disclosure is provided in the instant example. Sheet 30 in this example is a single-layer sheet.

[00154] A polymeric mixture comprised a polypropylene homopolymer and a polypropylene impact copolymer. The polypropylene homopolymer was Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N. The polypropylene impact copolymer was LyondellBassell Pro-fax™ SC204. The percentages by weight of the components were about:

[00155] 50% Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N

[00156] 50% LyondellBassell Pro-fax™ SC204

[00157] The polypropylene homopolymer and the polypropylene impact copolymer were added to an extruder hopper and combined via blending to provide a formulation. The formulation was then heated in the extruder to form a molten material. The molten material was extruded to form a single-layer sheet. The single-layer sheet was thermoformed to form a lid in accordance with the present disclosure.

[00158] Example 3

[00159] Formulation and Extrusion

[00160] An exemplary single-layer sheet 30 in accordance with certain aspects of the present disclosure is provided in the instant example. Sheet 30 in this example is a single-layer sheet.

[00161] A polymeric mixture comprised a polypropylene homopolymer, a polypropylene impact copolymer, and a polypropylene random copolymer. The polypropylene homopolymer was Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N. The polypropylene impact copolymer was LyondellBassell

Pro-fax™ SC204. The clarifier was Braskem RP650. The percentages by weight of the components were about:

[00162] 35% Braskem INSPIRE™ 6025N

[00163] 55% LyondellBassell Pro-fax™ SC204

[00164] 10% Braskem RP650

[00165] The polypropylene homopolymer, the polypropylene impact copolymer, and the polypropylene random copolymer were added to an extruder hopper and combined via blending to provide a formulation. The formulation was then heated in the extruder to form a molten material. The molten material was extruded to form a single-layer sheet. The single-layer sheet was thermoformed to form a lid in accordance with the present disclosure.

[00166] The following numbered clauses include embodiments that are contemplated and non-limiting:

[00167] Clause 1. A method of providing a shallow draw thermoformed article, the method comprising

[00168] extruding a sheet comprising non-aromatic polymeric materials.

[00169] Clause 2. The method of clause 1, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising conditioning the sheet with an outer surface of a rotating roller.

[00170] Clause 3. The method of clause 2, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein at least a portion of the outer surface that contacts the sheet has a first surface roughness between about 100 Ra (microinches) and about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00171] Clause 4. The method of clause 3, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising rotary thermoforming the sheet onto a mold to provide an article-blank web after conditioning the sheet.

[00172] Clause 5. The method of clause 3, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising cutting the article-blank web to provide the shallow draw thermoformed article.

[00173] Clause 6. The method of clause 5, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first surface roughness is about 200 Ra (microinches).

[00174] Clause 7. The method of clause 5, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the cutting stage is performed using a rotary cutter.

[00175] Clause 8. The method of clause 5, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoforming stage includes applying the sheet to a rotary thermoformer.

[00176] Clause 9. The method of clause 8, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer includes a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis of the rotary thermoformer and the mold which is coupled to the rotor for rotation therewith.

[00177] Clause 10. The method of clause 9, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer further includes a curl-blocking strip that includes a plurality of protrusions that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward the sheet to engage and block the sheet from curling away from the rotor during the rotary thermoforming stage.

[00178] Clause 11. The method of clause 10, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising directing forced fluid toward the rotor at a location aligned axially with the curl-blocking strip.

[00179] Clause 12. The method of clause 5, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the outer surface of the roller includes a first portion that extends

circumferentially around the roller and a second portion that extends circumferentially around the roller, the first portion has the first surface roughness, and the second portion has a second surface roughness.

[00180] Clause 13. The method of clause 12, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second surface roughness is greater than the first surface roughness.

[00181] Clause 14. The method of clause 5, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the roller has a first end and a second end spaced apart axially from the first end relative to a rotation axis of the roller and the second portion is located axially at both the first end and the second end of the roller.

[00182] Clause 15. The method of clause 14, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first portion extends axially entirely between the second portion located at the first end of the roller and the second portion located at the second end of the roller.

[00183] Clause 16. The method of clause 15, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first surface roughness is about 200 Ra (microinches).

[00184] Clause 17. The method of clause 16, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second surface roughness is about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00185] Clause 18. The method of clause 17, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a clarity of about or greater than about 50% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00186] Clause 19. The method of clause 18, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a haze less than about 60% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00187] Clause 20. The method of clause 19, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article is a lid for a drink cup.

[00188] Clause 21. The method of clause 20, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the non-aromatic polymeric materials include at least polypropylene.

[00189] Clause 22. A method of providing a shallow draw thermoformed article, the method comprising

[00190] extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials.

[00191] Clause 23. The method of clause 22, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising conditioning the sheet with an outer surface of a rotating roller.

[00192] Clause 24. The method of clause 23, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the outer surface of the rotating roller has a surface roughness of less than about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00193] Clause 25. The method of clause 24, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising rotary thermoforming the sheet onto a mold to provide an article-blank web.

[00194] Clause 26. The method of clause 25, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising cutting the article-blank web to provide the shallow draw thermoformed article.

[00195] Clause 27. The method of clause 26, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a clarity of about or greater than about 50% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00196] Clause 28. The method of clause 27, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a haze of about or less than about 60% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00197] Clause 29. The method of clause 28, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the clarity of the shallow draw thermoformed article is between about 50% and about 95% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00198] Clause 30. The method of clause 29, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the clarity of the shallow draw thermoformed article is greater than about 60% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00199] Clause 31. The method of clause 30, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the haze of the shallow draw thermoformed article is between about 20% and about 40% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00200] Clause 32. The method of clause 28, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet has an average thickness of less than about 0.012 inches.

[00201] Clause 33. The method of clause 32, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein at least a portion of the surface roughness of the outer surface of the rotating roller is between about 100 Ra (microinches) and about 240 Ra (microinches).

[00202] Clause 34. The method of clause 28, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoforming stage includes applying the sheet to a rotary thermoformer, the rotary thermoformer including a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis of the rotary thermoformer and the mold which is coupled to the rotor for rotation therewith.

[00203] Clause 35. The method of clause 34, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer includes a curl-blocking strip coupled to the rotor and the curl-blocking strip includes a plurality of protrusions that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward the sheet

[00204] Clause 36. The method of clause 35, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the protrusion are configured to engage and block the sheet from curling away from the rotor during the rotary thermoforming stage.

[00205] Clause 37. A method of providing a shallow draw thermoformed article, the method comprising

[00206] extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials, the polymeric materials comprising a polypropylene homopolymer first resin and a polypropylene impact copolymer second resin.

[00207] Clause 38. The method of clause 37, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising conditioning the sheet with an outer surface of a rotating roller.

[00208] Clause 39. The method of clause 38, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein at least a portion of the outer surface of the rotating roller that contacts the sheet has a surface roughness of less than about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00209] Clause 40. The method of clause 38, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising rotary thermoforming the sheet onto a mold to provide an article-blank web.

[00210] Clause 41. The method of clause 40, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising cutting the article-blank web to provide the shallow draw thermoformed article.

[00211] Clause 42. The method of clause 41, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials further comprise a polypropylene random co-polymer third resin.

[00212] Clause 43. The method of clause 42, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials comprise about 25% to about 55% by weight the polypropylene homopolymer first resin.

[00213] Clause 44. The method of clause 43, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials comprise about 45% to about 60% by weight the polypropylene impact copolymer second resin

[00214] Clause 45. The method of clause 44, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials comprise about 1% to about 15% by weight the polypropylene random co-polymer third resin.

[00215] Clause 46. The method of clause 41, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein a surface roughness of at least a portion of the outer surface of the rotating roller that contacts the sheet is less than about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00216] Clause 47. The method of clause 41, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a clarity of about or greater than about 50% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00217] Clause 48. The method of clause 47, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article has a haze of about or less than about

60% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00218] Clause 49. A method comprising

[00219] extruding a sheet comprising polymeric materials, and

[00220] rotary thermoforming the sheet to provide a web.

[00221] Clause 50. The method of clause 49, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising cutting the web to provide an aritlce.

[00222] Clause 51. The method of clause 50, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoforming stage includes applying the sheet to a rotary thermoformer.

[00223] Clause 52. The method of clause 51, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer includes a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis of the rotary thermoformer and at least mold coupled to the rotor for rotation therewith.

[00224] Clause 53. The method of clause 52, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer further includes a curl-blocking strip that includes a plurality of protrusions that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward the sheet to engage and block the sheet from curling away from the rotor during the rotary thermoforming stage.

[00225] Clause 54. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the plurality of protrusions include discrete ellipse shaped protrusions.

[00226] Clause 55. The method of clause 54, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein each ellipse shaped protrusion includes opposite ends and each end is defined by converging sides that meet at a point.

[00227] Clause 56. The method of clause 55, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the plurality of protrusions include a first row of protrusions aligned in a first direction and a second row of protrusions adjacent the first row and aligned in a second direction different than the first direction.

[00228] Clause 57. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotor includes a first end and an opposite second end and the curl-blocking strip is located adjacent one of the first end and the second end.

[00229] Clause 58. The method of clause 57, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the at least one lid mold is located between the curl-blocking strip and the other of the first end and the second end.

[00230] Clause 59. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising conditioning the sheet with a roller before the rotary thermoforming step.

[00231] Clause 60. The method of clause 59, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the roller extends along a longitudinal axis and the roller includes an outer surface having a smoothness of about or greater than about 100 Ra (microinches).

[00232] Clause 61. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotor includes a plurality of sides, the at least one lid mold includes a plurality of lid molds, and at least two axially extending rows of lid molds are coupled to each of the plurality of sides included in the rotor.

[00233] Clause 62. The method of clause 61, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising applying the sheet to the roller without applying an external force to the sheet.

[00234] Clause 63. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotor includes a plurality of sides, the at least one lid mold includes a plurality of lid molds, and only one axially extending row of lid molds is coupled to each of the plurality of sides included in the rotor.

[00235] Clause 64. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising conditioning the sheet with a roller before the rotary thermoforming step and blocking the sheet from moving axially relative to the longitudinal axis during the conditioning step.

[00236] Clause 65. The method of clause 64, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the blocking step includes blowing gas at the sheet to urge the sheet onto the roller.

[00237] Clause 66. The method of clause 64, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the blocking step includes electrically charging the sheet to urge the sheet onto the roller.

[00238] Clause 67. The method of clause 64, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the blocking step includes applying a vacuum to the roller to urge the sheet onto the roller.

[00239] Clause 68. The method of clause 64, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the roller includes an outer surface having a varying surface roughness.

[00240] Clause 69. The method of clause 68, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the outer surface has a circumferentially extending stripe with a first surface roughness and a circumferentially extending stripe having a second surface roughness different than the first surface roughness.

[00241] Clause 70. The method of clause 68, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the outer surface includes chrome material.

[00242] Clause 71. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising blowing gas toward the curl-blocking strip and the sheet during the rotary thermoforming step.

[00243] Clause 72. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the cutting step is performed using a reciprocating cutter to shear cut the web. [00244] Clause 73. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the cutting step is performed using a rotary die cutter to crush cut the web.

[00245] Clause 74. The method of clause 73, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising stacking the article on another article using a star wheel to provide a stack of articles.

[00246] Clause 75. The method of clause 53, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials includes polypropylene.

[00247] Clause 76. A rotary thermoformer system comprising

[00248] an extruder configured to extrude a sheet comprising polymeric materials.

[00249] Clause 77. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 76, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a conditioning roller.

[00250] Clause 78. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 77, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the conditioning roller is configured to receive the sheet to provide the sheet with a predetermined surface finish and to control a feed rate of the sheet during operation of the rotary thermoformer system.

[00251] Clause 79. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 78, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a rotary thermoformer configured to form the sheet into a web having a predetermined shape.

[00252] Clause 80. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 79, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer includes a rotor mounted to rotate about a rotation axis of the rotary thermoformer and at least one mold coupled to the rotor for rotation therewith.

[00253] Clause 81. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotary thermoformer includes a curl-blocking strip that includes a plurality of protrusions that extend radially outward away from the rotor toward the sheet.

[00254] Clause 82. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the conditioning roller has an outer surface with a surface roughness of less than about 400 Ra (microinches).

[00255] Clause 83. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the conditioning roller has an outer surface with a surface roughness of between about 180 Ra (microinches) and about 340 Ra (microinches).

[00256] Clause 84. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the conditioning roller has an outer surface with a surface roughness of about 200 Ra (microinches).

[00257] Clause 85. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the conditioning roller has an outer surface with a surface roughness of about 300 Ra (microinches).

[00258] Clause 86. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 81, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotor includes a first end and an opposite second end, the curl-blocking strip is located adjacent one of the first end and the second end, and the at least one lid mold is located between the curl-blocking strip and the other of the first end and the second end.

[00259] Clause 87. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 81, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the rotor includes a plurality of bands that are angled relative to one another about the rotation axis, the at least one lid mold includes a plurality of lid molds, and only one axially extending row of lid molds are coupled to each of the plurality of bands included in the rotor.

[00260] Clause 88. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 81, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the plurality of protrusions include discrete ellipse shaped protrusions.

[00261] Clause 89. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 88, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein each ellipse shaped protrusion includes opposite ends and each end is defined by converging sides that meet at a point.

[00262] Clause 90. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 88, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the plurality of protrusions include a first row of protrusions aligned in a first direction and a second row of protrusions adjacent the first row and aligned in a second direction different than the first direction.

[00263] Clause 91. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polymeric materials include polypropylene.

[00264] Clause 92. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a reciprocating cutter.

[00265] Clause 93. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 80, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a rotary die cutter.

[00266] Clause 94. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 93, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a sheet-movement controller.

[00267] Clause 95. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 94, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet-movement controller includes a static pinner.

[00268] Clause 96. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 94, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet-movement controller includes an air pinner.

[00269] Clause 97. The rotary thermoformer system of clause 94, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet-movement controller includes a vacuum box coupled to the roller.

[00270] Clause 98. An article comprising

[00271] a ring-shaped brim mount having a round shape with a center point located on a central axis of the article and the ring-shaped brim mount being adapted to couple to a brim included in a cup.

[00272] Clause 99. The article of clause 98, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a central closure coupled to the ring-shaped brim mount.

[00273] Clause 100. The article of clause 99, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, further comprising a deformable product-identification dome coupled to the central closure.

[00274] Clause 101. The article of clause 100, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 35% by weight a polypropylene first resin and about 55% by weight a polypropylene second resin.

[00275] Clause 102. The article of clause 100, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article is formed using the method of clause 5, any other clause, or any other combination of clauses.

[00276] Clause 103. The article of clause 100, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome is arranged to move from a first arrangement in which the deformable product-identification dome extends upwardly away from the central closure to a second arrangement in which the deformable product-identification dome is arranged to extend downwardly away from the central closure in response to a downward deformation force being applied to the deformable product-identification dome.

[00277] Clause 104. The article of clause 103, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome has a first transparency in the first arrangement.

[00278] Clause 105. The article of clause 104, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome has a second transparency in the second arrangement.

[00279] Clause 106. The article of clause 105, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second transparency is different than the first transparency.

[00280] Clause 107. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first transparency is defined at least by having a clarity between about 50% and about 95% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00281] Clause 108. The article of clause 107, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first transparency is defined at least by having a clarity greater than about 60% as measured using ASTM D 1746.

[00282] Clause 109. The article of clause 108, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first transparency is defined at least by having a haze between about 20% and about 40% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00283] Clause 110. The article of clause 109, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first transparency is defined at least by having a haze less than about 40% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00284] Clause 111. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first transparency is defined at least by having a haze between about 20% and about 40% as measured using ASTM D 1003 procedure B.

[00285] Clause 112. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome is arranged to move from the second arrangement to a third arrangement in which the deformable product-identification dome is arranged to extend upwardly away from the central closure in response to an upward deformation force and the deformable product-identification dome has a third transparency in the third arrangement.

[00286] Clause 113. The article of clause 112, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the third transparency is different than the second transparency.

[00287] Clause 114. The article of clause 113, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the third transparency is different than the first transparency.

[00288] Clause 115. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome includes a cap and a plurality of panels arranged around the cap and adjacent panels are coupled to one another to form stress concentrator j oints.

[00289] Clause 116. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the central closure has a closure transparency that is about equal to the first transparency of the deformable product-identification dome.

[00290] Clause 117. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises a polypropylene homopolymer first resin.

[00291] Clause 118. The article of clause 117, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises a polypropylene impact copolymer second resin.

[00292] Clause 119. The article of clause 118, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises a polypropylene random co-polymer third resin.

[00293] Clause 120. The article of clause 119, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 25% to about 55% by weight the first resin.

[00294] Clause 121. The article of clause 120, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 45% to about 60% by weight the second resin.

[00295] Clause 122. The article of clause 121, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 1% to about 15% by weight the third resin.

[00296] Clause 123. The article of clause 119, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 35% by weight the first resin, about 55% by weight the second resin, and about 10% by weight the third resin.

[00297] Clause 124. The article of clause 123, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the deformable product-identification dome includes a cap and a plurality of panels arranged around the cap and adjacent panels are coupled to one another to form stress concentrator joints configured to induce the second transparency in the second arrangement.

[00298] Clause 125. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article is free from polystyrene.

[00299] Clause 126. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article is free from aromatic materials.

[00300] Clause 127. The article of clause 106, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 25% to about 99% of a first resin and about 25% to about 99% of a second resin.

[00301] Clause 128. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first resin is a polypropylene homopolymer.

[00302] Clause 129. The article of clause 128, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second resin is a polypropylene impact copolymer.

[00303] Clause 130. The article of clause 129, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article further comprises about 5% to about 15% by weight of a random copolymer.

[00304] Clause 131. The article of clause 130, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 0.5% to about 20% by weight of a rubber.

[00305] Clause 132. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 45% to about 65% by weight of the second resin.

[00306] Clause 133. The article of clause 129, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article further comprises up to about 15% by weight of a random copolymer.

[00307] Clause 134. The article of clause 133, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 0.5% to about 20% by weight of a rubber.

[00308] Clause 135. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises up to about 99% by weight first resin.

[00309] Clause 136. The article of clause 135, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 15% to about 75% by weight first resin.

[00310] Clause 137. The article of clause 136, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 15% to about 65% by weight first resin.

[00311] Clause 138. The article of clause 137, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 25% to about 45% by weight first resin.

[00312] Clause 139. The article of clause 138, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the first resin is a polypropylene.

[00313] Clause 140. The article of clause 139, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene is a polypropylene homopolymer.

[00314] Clause 141. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises up to about 99% by weight second resin.

[00315] Clause 142. The article of clause 141, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 20% to about 85% by weight second resin.

[00316] Clause 143. The article of clause 142, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 30% to about 75% by weight second resin.

[00317] Clause 144. The article of clause 143, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 45% to about 65% by weight second resin.

[00318] Clause 145. The article of clause 144, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second resin is a polypropylene.

[00319] Clause 146. The article of clause 145, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene is a polypropylene copolymer.

[00320] Clause 147. The article of clause 146, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene copolymer is a polypropylene impact copolymer.

[00321] Clause 148. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the second resin is a polypropylene impact copolymer.

[00322] Clause 149. The article of clause 148, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene impact copolymer comprises up to 50% by weight rubber.

[00323] Clause 150. The article of clause 149, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene impact copolymer comprises about 0.5% to about 40% by weight rubber.

[00324] Clause 151. The article of clause 150, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene impact copolymer comprises about 0.5% to about 20% by weight rubber.

[00325] Clause 152. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises up to about 50% weight of a rubber.

[00326] Clause 153. The article of clause 152, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 0.5% to about 30% by weight of a rubber.

[00327] Clause 154. The article of clause 153, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 1% to about 20% rubber.

[00328] Clause 155. The article of clause 154, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article comprises about 4% to about 20% rubber.

[00329] Clause 156. The article of clause 127, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the article further comprises up to about 20% by weight of an additive.

[00330] Clause 157. The article of clause 156, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the additive is about 0.5% to about 20% by weight of the article.

[00331] Clause 158. The article of clause 157, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the additive is about 5% to about 15% by weight of the article.

[00332] Clause 159. The article of clause 157, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the additive is selected from the group consisting of a clarifier, a process aid, a slip agent, and a combination thereof.

[00333] Clause 160. The article of clause 159, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the additive is a clarifier.

[00334] Clause 161. The article of clause 160, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the clarifier is a copolymer.

[00335] Clause 162. The article of clause 161, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the copolymer is a polypropylene copolymer.

[00336] Clause 163. The article of clause 162, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the polypropylene copolymer is a polypropylene random copolymer.

[00337] Clause 164. A sheet made of polymeric materials, the sheet comprising

[00338] a polypropylene homopolymer first resin.

[00339] Clause 165. The sheet of clause 164, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, comprising a polypropylene impact co-polymer second resin.

[00340] Clause 166. The sheet of clause 165, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, comprising a polypropylene random co-polymer third resin.

[00341] Clause 167. The sheet of clause 166, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 25% to about 55% by weight the first resin.

[00342] Clause 168. The sheet of clause 167, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 45% to about 60% by weight the second resin.

[00343] Clause 169. The sheet of clause 168, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 1% to about 15% by weight the third resin.

[00344] Clause 170. The sheet of clause 166, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 35% by weight the first resin.

[00345] Clause 171. The sheet of clause 170, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 55% by weight the second resin.

[00346] Clause 172. The sheet of clause 171, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the sheet comprises about 10% by weight the third resin.

[00347] Clause 173. The method of clause 28, any other clause, or any combination of clauses, wherein the shallow draw thermoformed article is selected from the group consisting of a lid, a bowl, a tray, and a plate.