Tube Cap Cracking Challenges & Resolution
January 20, 2021
Good intentions can often lead to unintended consequences.
I’m not sure I totally understood this phrase until now as I need to share with you, a major error we made in creating our new GOLDEN Acrylic tube caps, which we introduced in March 2019. The long and short of it, is that the new caps were launched with much fanfare, but unfortunately, are not holding up as well as expected and some are cracking after paint collects on the cap.
For years we received complaints about our old tube caps being impossible to remove. Additionally, the sharp ridges on the caps abraded fingers and made it difficult for people with any hand or finger issues, including arthritis, to open them. So for over a year and a half we embarked on designing a new tube cap that would solve many of these issues. Through this process not only did we design a new tube cap, but we also designed a tool that would help customers remove our caps as well as caps from most other paint manufacturers, called appropriately, “The Gripr®”.
During development of the new cap, we evaluated it on a variety of different levels, including torquing the cap until the entire tube began to twist and asking multiple people to assess the design for ease of opening. We went through dozens of iterations to assure its success in oven tests and analysis as well. During this time we continued to ask our customers to please be patient with the old caps until the new design came out.
Finally we introduced the new tube cap. It took close to a year before we began hearing complaints that some of the new tube caps were cracking. So we began to look at the design, thinking that it had to be beefed up in areas of greater strain. Unfortunately, more customers called to complain that their tube caps failed with very little use.
We consulted with our tube and cap manufacturers to see what solutions they might share. We went back to torquing the tube caps to try to create failure, but again, no failure. It wasn’t until late last year that we were able to recreate the failure that our customers were seeing. We coated the caps with paint, torqued them onto the tube, placed them in a 140 degree Lab testing oven, and then waited for signs of failure. To our surprise and immense disappointment, we saw failures in all the new caps. This latest round of testing has led us to greater evaluation of the brittleness of the plastic used to develop the cap.
After testing other plastics, we have decided to move to a more robust plastic, greatly increasing the tensile strength of the current cap. It is important to note that consumers will likely not be able to tell the difference between the current and new caps based on look and feel alone – those will remain the same. The only recognizable difference will be cap color. The new, improved cap will be gray. We are confident that the new design, with the proper material, will greatly improve all our customers’ experiences, once it’s available in stores, which will take some time.
So what are we going to do for you, our customer, in the meantime?
We are going to replace any broken caps you might have. We’re interested to know if you have any failed caps in your studio or if any of your paint dried out due to the cap cracking. If so, please go to this form to share your experience so that we can send you replacement caps.
We appreciate your understanding as we navigate this challenge and will keep you updated on our progress.
CEO, Golden Artist Colors, Inc.