Critical need for Sealant to hit the Sweet Spot

Can Sealing compounds are an unseen yet critical component of successful canmaking. Can sealants fill the naturally occurring voids in metal-to-metal joints, ensuring a hermetic seal is formed, thus preventing spoilage or leakage. Canworld shares some insights into the art and science of sealant technology. It is important to use the right quantity of sealant. Sealant manufacturers make “dry film weight recommendations,” for the volume of sealant or compound to be used on each can end for specific applications such as beer/beverage, food, aerosol, or general line. Non-standard items require purpose-designed recommendations.
These standards have evolved over time, reflecting improvements in sealant technology and advances made by the can makers. Sealant experts experiment filling cans with products, and taking them through harsh conditions of packing, seaming, abuse, bacterial contamination and storage to determine any potential weaknesses of the sealants under consideration. Specialist companies keep large databases, built up over many years, which enables them to make dry film weight recommendations to customers based on hard science. Packed cans are evaluated for spoilage, low vacuums, squeeze, seam dimensions, gross, macro and micro leakage and retained pressure. The data is statistically analysed using Assessment of Similarity to compare performance with a commercial control allowing technical experts to predict commercial performance.

It is important to use the right amount of sealant - enough to fill possible gaps in the seam. Key considerations are the product pack, the type of can (two piece or three piece), the size of the end, the seam type and the film volume control. Applying more than is necessary can affect the seal, and using an inadequate amount may create voids that can lead to failure. End failures can be messy and expensive for both can-makers and brand owners, and in the case of food products potentially a public health hazard. The right amount of sealant can be considered the ‘sweet spot’, and there will be a sweet spot for each size and type of can (paint can, beverage can, food can or aerosol). Expert tweaking of compound application practices can improve productivity. Film weight control, proper placement at end lines, eliminating overlap or underlap, ensuring if excess compound or too little compound is being used.. In the lab, sealant experts carry out experiments to find ways of understanding and improving performance and look for ways of improving application guns and liners.

A top class lab will be equipped with state of the art commercial scale equipment including double seamers. It will be staffed by an experienced team committed to getting optimum results in house to help customers improve their film weight targets. The technology of sealants has developed a great deal over the last century. There has been a significant increase in solid content as liner speeds have increased and as VOC’s have been decreased for solvent based compounds. Over time the thickness of metal used in making cans has been down gauged; the size of ends and the configuration of seams have also changed to save metal. The manufacturer of sealants must keep abreast of these changes and revise formulations and recommendations accordingly. Work on development and refinement of sealants looks set to continue as long as the can is around.

Canworld.Net is located in Cumbria in the UK
Tel. +44 1900 825387 /+447780681066

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