Tin cans have a long history in human life as a way to store food. They are one of the most popular packaging materials in the world today. These beautiful metal cans are cheap, simple, and can be designed in many different ways, including special DIY printing, shapes, and carvings. But surprisingly, these ‘tin cans’ are not actually made of tin or iron. So, what are they made of?
What is Tin Plate?
Tinplate, commonly known as tin-coated steel (SPTE), refers to thin steel sheets with a thin layer of tin metal plated on the surface. It’s reasonably strong and hard, flexible, easy to shape, weldable, non-toxic, tasteless, with a shiny surface. The tin coating primarily prevents corrosion and rust. Currently, tin-coated steel is widely used to make cans for storing food and various packaging and decorative products!
Traditional Tin-Plated Cans
Even though traditional tin cans are called ‘tins,’ most of them are actually made of steel or iron. They’re coated with a protective layer of tin, usually containing only 1% or 2% of tin, to shield the metal from natural elements. This coating safeguards against rust and corrosion, making it a common choice for various commercial items, like tin can packaging. Tin cans, known as tinplate cans, are favoured for their unique designs and purposes. They’re commonly used as containers for canned foods, cosmetics, medicines, and candles. Thanks to their tight seal and corrosion resistance, tinplate cans preserve food for longer periods due to their ability to withstand acidic content, extending the shelf life. The main downside of traditional tin cans is that they’re much heavier than aluminium cans.
Modern Tin Cans
Tin cans are often mistaken as the ‘traditional’ way to make canned goods, but modern tinplate cans, also known as assorted cans, are commonly used for food like cookies, biscuits, candies, chocolates, and gift packaging. Most of the tin cans sold in the market are made of tin-coated thin steel, aluminum, or different types of processed metals. They’re designed to resist rust and corrosion, meeting food-grade standards. Both traditional and modern assorted cans are recyclable or reusable. Manufacturers can strip off the tinplate layer and reuse the iron or scrap steel.
Did the article help you understand more about the materials used in tinplate cans? If you need customized tinplate boxes or tin cans, feel free to contact us anytime!
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