An Industry Built On Innovation

Packaging, Stainless, Steel, Sustainability

Steel Packaging

 

Steel Can
The steel can was invented more than 200 years ago.

Cans were first used as containers for food during the Napoleonic wars. The idea for preserving food by heating it in containers was developed by Nicolas Appert. He used glass jars, which were sent to French troops on the Russian front. In 1810, British merchant Peter Durand was granted the patent for a method of preserving food and other perishable items using vessels made of various materials, including steel.

Not surprisingly, food safety is still one of the most important benefits of canned food packaging.

However, food storage is only one of the many applications of steel packaging.

Steel packaging is durable, tamper-resistant and convenient. It is also ‘shelf-stable’, meaning that it can protect the contents from deterioration for a long time. In addition to these attributes, the steel used in packaging also has an aesthetic function. After all, packaging is designed not only to store the product but also to advertise it to the consumer.

An industry built on innovation

In some countries, steel cans are also referred to as tin cans or simply tins. There are thousands of applications, from the familiar soft drink can to unusually-shaped paint tins that are easy to hold in one hand and retro designer biscuit tins. Steel packaging is used for:

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Promotional materials
  • Aerosols
  • Paints and chemicals
  • Bottle tops and caps

The majority of steel used in packaging is tinplate, which is steel that has been coated with a layer of tin to prevent corrosion. Although tinplate only accounts for around 1% of steel production, it is a highly visible and dynamic industry. Brands and products compete for consumers’ attention on the shelves of supermarkets and other retailers.

The manufacturing processes used in steel packaging are high-tech and sophisticated. Commercial production began in 1812, in a canning factory near London that supplied food to the British army. In 1846, cans were manufactured at the rate of 60 an hour. Modern can-makers can produce up to 1,000 cans a minute.

Once the steel is coated with tin, the tinplate can be coated with polymer, lacquered and printed. The final result is an attractive, safe and functional product.

Highly recyclable

Steel holds a unique position as a sustainable packaging material because it is 100% recyclable. Steel cans are the most recycled form of packaging. A significant proportion of all the steel in a can comes from recycled sources.

 

Cited: World Steel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

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Steel The Green Option

Stainless, Steel

steel pipes

The figures by APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, indicate that in 2012, 2.7 million tonnes of steel packaging were recycled, corresponding to an average European rate of 74%. This reinforces the long-term trend for steel as the most recycled packaging material in Europe.

Steel packaging’s recycling rate has increased threefold over the last 20 years and steel remains the most recycled packaging material in Europe. Plastic, beverage cartons, aluminium and glass have rates of 35%, 39%, 68% and 70% respectively (source: APEAL).

Alexander Mohr, Secretary General of APEAL, commented: “While steel maintains its position as the most recycled packaging material in Europe, it is clear there is still some work to be done in order for the industry to hit its vision of 80% recycling rate by 2020.”

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, for the US, the overall recycling rate for steel in 2012 was 88%, with nearly 84 million tonnes of steel recycled. This included the more than 1.3 million tons of tin plate steel – the equivalent of 21 billion steel cans, which were recycled at a rate of 71%, the highest among packaging materials.

“The steel industry’s internationally-recognised energy efficiency, coupled with the recycling rate that is the highest of any material, proves our commitment to sustainability and resource conservation,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO, American Iron and steel Institute.

Steel products naturally contribute to resource conservation through their lightweight potential, durability and recyclability. Steel is 100% recyclable. It can be infinitely recycled without loss of key properties, ensuring that the resources invested in its production are not lost and can be infinitely reused. Steel recycling accounts for significant raw material and energy savings.

Due to its magnetic properties, steel is easy to separate from waste streams, enabling high recovery rates.

Recovery rates differ from recycling rates. For example, about 85% of automobiles are recovered for recycling, and nearly 100% of the steel in these recovered vehicles is recycled. More than 1,400 kg of iron ore, 740 kg of coal, and 120 kg of limestone are saved for one tonne of steel scrap made into new steel.
Table 1: Post-consumer steel product recovery rates by sector – worldsteel estimates

Sector Recovery rate 2007 (%) Recovery 2050 (%) Life cycle in years
Construction 85% 90% 40 to 70
Automotive 85% 90% 7 to 15
Machinery 90% 95% 10 to 20
Electrical and domestic appliances 50% 65% 4 to 10
Weighted global average 83% 90% N/A

 

Steel is the most recycled industrial material in the world, with over 500 Mt recycled annually, including pre- and post-consumer scrap. Over 22 billion tonnes of steel has been recycled worldwide since 1900 owing to steel’s 100% recyclability.

View our website for more information or contact our professional team through our inquiry system by clicking here.

Cited: World Steel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

The Look Is… Everything.

Steel

Mirror Fruit Bowl

 

Stainless Steel Mirror Sheet also referred to as a No.8 Finish, represents the smoothest of surfaces. As such, the finish has no grain and high reflective quality similar to that of a glass mirror. Utilizing micro-abrasive substances, we can provide such stainless steel sheet finishes as well as a guarantee of superior quality and prompt delivery.

Shanghai Metal Corporation is a company which is engaged in the manufacture and supply of a wide range of metal products such as Mirror Stainless Steel Sheets, which are used in a wide range of industries for various applications, and are currently high on demand in the market. These sheets are rust proof, reasonably priced and are exported to customers all over the globe.These sheets also have a very sturdy make and they are available in a range of sizes, shapes and thicknesses.

Click on the link to see a complete overview of this superior product available at SMC, don’t fall behind on the latest trend: http://goo.gl/ZWpOAP 

mirror steel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC