Thyssenkrupp claims material saving of up to 10%
Thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH has claimed to have achieved a significant step in further developing the material for two-piece food cans.
“Thanks to an innovative tinplate manufacturing process, we are able to increase axial stability by 20% when using this material for D&I food cans. This offers enormous potential for thickness reductions, which may result in material savings of up to 10%,” said Frank Elberskirch, head of Technical Customer Service (USA) at Thyssenkrupp Rasselstein.
The material’s forming properties and the customary high quality and stability of Rasselstein packaging steel are being retained. Customers of Germany’s only tinplate manufacturer are the main beneficiaries of this development: it allows them to significantly save resources thanks to the new process. Additionally, two-piece food cans are now becoming even more sustainable since the savings in material will reduce the weight of the can, thus ensuring lower transport weights and reduced CO2 emissions.
Many years of experience in the production of grades for D&I food cans
The D&I two-piece food can is in high demand, particularly in the United States. According to the Can Manufacturers Institute’s 2019-2020 annual report, some 18 billion two-piece food cans were produced in the U.S. last year. One reason to introduce the new development there in particular.
“We are holding initial talks with companies that are interested in getting to know and testing the new material,” said Jochen Lohscheidt, Head of Sales USA.
European manufacturers can also benefit from Thyssenkrupp Rasselstein’s many years of experience in the production and development of grades for D&I food cans. “Over the past few decades we have gained extensive knowledge in the development and production of steel grades for D&I cans. Our steel grades offer the necessary purity, have excellent forming properties and tribologically optimised surfaces. This is important for packaging manufacturers because the material properties enable efficient processing with minimum scrap rates and tool wear,” said Anne Reichardt, development engineer at thyssenkrupp Rasselstein’s Application Technology department. “The production of the two-piece food can is particularly suitable for high production volumes.”
In addition, D&I cans offer all the advantages that characterise other food cans made of tinplate. For example, due to its inherent material properties, the cans are practically infinitely recyclable. They are also impermeable to light and preserve the nutritional values and taste quality of the foods they contain.
Finite Element Analysis and Rasselstein Solidflex are complementing the offering
Thyssenkrupp Rasselstein also offers manufacturers additional options for achieving maximum thickness reduction. For several years now, the Andernach-based company has been using the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to virtually and efficiently simulate the use of innovative packaging steels, changes to can geometries, and reductions in thickness. This allows the company to implement optimisations in a much more time- and resource-saving manner. Applying its extensive FEA expertise, thyssenkrupp Rasselstein supports customers in increasing the efficiency of their D&I food cans.
Focusing on the development of the entire container, the use of Rasselstein Solidflex for the production of easy-open ends is also an option. Rasselstein Solidflex is both hard and formable. Offering an elongation of more than 5% and yield strengths of 600MPa to 750 MPa, the material is particularly suitable for applications that require not only high strengths but also considerable forming potential – such as easy-open ends.
“Using this pioneering packaging steel may also enable thickness reductions of the entire D&I food can, thus further increasing the container’s efficiency. Customers will therefore particularly benefit from the optimised material in combination with Solidflex,” Elberskirch pointed out.