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Tinplate for food packaging: weighty advantages

DWI food can

With rasselstein® D&I Solid, the tinplate experts from Andernach have succeeded in developing another innovative material: a material grade that can be used in two-piece D&I food cans to enable thickness reductions.

D&I material – the abbreviation stands for "drawn and wall ironed" – is typically used to make two-piece cans for beverage and food products. The can body and bottom are made from a single part, which means the can does not have either the classic vertical weld or the bottom seam to connect the body and the bottom. This increases the quality of the can, as precisely these areas are critical points of attack for corrosion.

"In the U.S., this type of can is increasingly replacing the three-piece variant because it can be manufactured more efficiently in high production volumes," reports Frank Elberskirch, Head of Technical Customer Service (USA) at thyssenkrupp Rasselstein. In the U.S., the market share of two-piece cans is currently an estimated 65 percent, which corresponds to about 19 billion cans. "For our American customers, this packaging steel is therefore very attractive."

Potential for thickness reduction

Anne Reichard und Frank Elbskirch
The brains behind the newly developed material grade: Frank Elberskirch, Head of Technical Customer Service (USA), and Anne Reichardt, development engineer in Application Technology

thyssenkrupp Rasselstein therefore had the U.S. market in its sights in particular when it explored the potential of rasselstein® Solidflex technology for the development of other material grades. With success: in the near future, the D&I material will expand the portfolio. It allows manufacturers to further reduce the wall thickness of their cans while maintaining stability.

Anne Reinhardt

"Axial stability plays a key role in food cans, ensuring that products can be stacked safely over ten meters high without the lower cans collapsing under the load. In addition, the filled can must withstand the external pressure during sterilization," summarizes project manager Anne Reichardt, a development engineer in application technology. "This is precisely where our newly developed packaging steel grade can show its advantages. It gives our customers the possibility to use this material to produce two-piece cans with higher strength values. Conversely, we can in turn reduce the thickness without sacrificing stability compared to the standard grade."

With rasselstein® D&I Solid, our customers can produce two-piece cans with higher strength.

Anne Reichardt

Reduced use of materials

Frank Elberskirch und Anne Reichardt

Up to ten percent tinplate can be saved by using the new grade. This not only reduces the mining, use and transportation of finite resources, but also the environmental footprint of the can. Emissions can be reduced even further if the innovative rasselstein® Solidflex material is used in the lid, because sheet thicknesses can be reduced. "The combination of both grades allows our customers to optimize the entire package," Frank Elberskirch adds.

In the U.S., the new development from Andernach has already completed its first round of presentations. "We are currently in talks with companies that are interested in getting to know and testing the new material," says Jochen Lohscheidt, Head of Sales USA.

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