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ArcelorMittal offers smarter steel solutions for lightweight aerosols

New steel grades from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products are enabling canmakers to create lighter and stronger aerosol cans. The grades can be used to make aerosols in a range of formats including traditional three-piece cans, drawn and wall ironed (DWI), and monobloc. A new life cycle assessment shows that steel aerosols have significantly lower environmental emissions than aerosols made from aluminium. Using the latest grades from ArcelorMittal, emissions reductions of up to 59 percent are possible compared to aluminium aerosols produced from virgin raw materials.

The newest, best-in-class grades from ArcelorMittal include TH650N for the top and bottom of the aerosol, TS550 for the three-piece body, and TS230 for DWI and monobloc cans. All three grades are now commercially available and are being utilised by customers around the world.

More than 5.4 billion aerosols were produced in the EU during 2019

Aerosols must withstand extreme pressure of up to 18 bar

17 percent weight saving possible today

“For a 210 ml (brimful) three-piece aerosol with a diameter of 52 mm, the use of TH650N and TS550 offers an overall weight saving of more than 17 percent compared to the previous generation of steels for aerosols,” notes Gilles Mangin, packaging specialist with ArcelorMittal Global R&D. “Due to the higher mechanical properties of these new grades, the wall thickness of the body can be reduced from 0.17 to just 0.13 mm. The weight of the wall drops from 23.8 grams to just 18.2 grams with TS550.”

The new grades can be utilised immediately by canmakers with modern canmaking equipment. ArcelorMittal can provide recommendations which will ensure little disruption and low costs when making the change.

ArcelorMittal’s R&D team is also available to canmakers who experience any issues using the new grades, as Gilles Mangin explains: “One of our customers noticed that the bottom of their aerosols were bending unusually. ArcelorMittal Global R&D proposed a new design for the bottom ring. The canmaker implemented the solution quickly and resolved the problem.”

Aerosols must withstand extreme pressure of up to 18 bar


Life cycle assessment shows benefits of steel

Using the latest steel grades has a positive impact on the environmental performance of the aerosol. A life cycle assessment of the 210 ml (brimful) three-piece aerosol showed that it had a 59 percent lower CO2 footprint than a similar aluminium can made from raw materials. Even when the aluminium contains 25 percent recycled content, the steel version has 30 percent lower emissions.

Steel is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe. Figures from the Association of European Producers of steel for packaging (APEAL) show that the recycling rate for steel was well over 80 percent in 2018 – the latest year for which statistics are available. That means steel is already achieving the 80 percent recycling target set by the EU for 2030.


Banner image: Den Debono /
Courtesy of ArcelorMIttal R&D Maizières
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Den Debono /

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