In the can

We all know that “psssst!” noise that you get when you pull the ring on a refreshing, ice-cold cola, beer or energy drink. Kuhn Special Steel has its part to play in this, even though the cans concerned are not made of stainless steel. Our products are nevertheless used in the manufacture of aluminium cans. Continue reading

Creep-proof and heat-resistant

The production of sheet aluminium is a laborious affair. A wet digestion process and electrolysis are used to convert bauxite, the ore of aluminium, into its pure metallic state. The resulting molten metal is then poured to form rectangular bars suitable for hot rolling between two rotating steel rollers. The metal is flattened to match the distance between the rollers, which results in hot-strip aluminium of between two and six millimetres thick. The advantage of hot rolling is that the aluminium is softer at higher temperatures, allowing it to be formed with less force. The strips can now be wound into coils. The phenomenon known as “creep” refers to the time- and temperature-dependent plastic deformation of the material. This is where Kuhn Special Steel comes into the picture. The coil winding drums are made of stainless steel, as they must be highly heat-resistant and creep-proof to prevent the coil from warping. This presents no problem for our stainless steel, which is designed to withstand high temperatures and extreme friction wear alike. When it reaches the can production plant, the aluminium strip is wetted and stretched into a thin sheet. Cutting machines are then used to shape the material into blanks for the fabrication of cans.

The effort is worth it, as aluminium is recyclable to an almost unlimited extent, and also because this lightweight metal provides protection against light, air, moisture, odours and micro-organisms. So now you know, as you take another swig from the can.

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