How are Aluminum Cans Made?

Nowadays, aluminum cans are common sight. As a matter of fact, almost all of the beverage cans in North America are made from aluminum. One of the reasons why it is used in most countries of the world today is that aluminum is lightweight, inexpensive, and durable and can be recycled easily. At present, more than half of all the aluminum cans are recycled and made from recycled metal. If you take a look at it, the cans are simple, but the process of turning sheets of aluminum into cans is difficult.

The first process in making aluminum can is creating the body of the can. This involves unrolling and lubricating aluminum coil using thin film of oil. The coil is normally containing a small amount of manganese and magnesium. Then press out the shallow circular cup shapes using a cupping press. Then squeeze out the shallow cups through series of tungsten carbide rings to extend them and thin the side wall thickness. The open tops of the cups extended in length are trimmed off. This will produce smooth upper surface and uniform height to each can.

Each cup is cleaned and dried to remove the traces of lubricating oil, dust and debris. The exterior of the can is coated using a clear lacquer and they are dried in a steam of hot air. Then the label is printed and designed on each cup with six to eight ink colors.

A clear varnish is applied to its exterior as a way to protect the paint and the bottom of the cans. The cans will then be heated to dry and paint is sealed then varnished.

The next step is spraying the interior of the cans using clear lacquer to protect the inside metal from the reaction of the contents in the can. Then it will be subjected to heat once more to dry the lacquer.

Finally, the cans pass through a necker or flanger device to shape the top neck portion of the can. The finish can bodie will then be packaged and palletized for shipment to filling stations. The making of the lid of the can completes the process.

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