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Economical exploitation of polymer coated steel sheet in large-scale production of new can types by the European can industry

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New cost-effective, eco-friendly steel packaging cans

EU-funded researchers sought to develop industria-scale production processes for polymer-coated sheet steel and associated steel-based cans. Outcomes will potentially satisfy consumer demand for more attractive designs while reducing manufacturing costs and protecting the environment.

Industrial Technologies

Numerous consumer products from soft drinks to foods to paints and more are packaged in metal cans of various types. The choice of material (typically aluminium, tin or steel) depends in part on the contents, with considerations including whether the product is food or drink, whether it is corrosive, and the like. The ‘Economical exploitation of polymer coated steel sheet in large-scale production of new can types by the European can industry’ (Polycoat) project set out to develop new polymer-coated steel sheet systems enabling steel-based containers to compete with currently available alternatives. Steel cans are fully recyclable and provide safe long-term storage of food and beverages. In addition, steel packaging is resistant to a wide range of potential contents, to external corrosion and to tampering. Furthermore, use of polymer-coated sheet material eliminates the need for washing and lacquering thereby reducing both cost and environmental impact. finally, steel sheets are highly formable making it possible to develop new container configurations using the new polymer-coated steel systems as well as existing ones. polycoat researchers thus set out to develop experimental and computational methodologies and expertise for the European can industry, facilitating development of large-scale industrial manufacturing processes for novel and attractive can designs. project outcomes should increase the competitiveness of the European can industry, in particular as related to food and beverages, while enhancing consumer and environmental safety.

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