Metal Packaging and Coatings are being transformed by new technologies. In this post, we will explore the future of metal packaging and coatings, including a glimpse into the various changes in its methods of production as well as its adoption to new markets such as pharmaceuticals. To learn more about these revolutionary developments please read on…
In the next decade it’s expected that metals will play a key role in our world’s development. Chemists are getting better at inventing new ways to use metals for packaging and consumer goods, which has created an unprecedented opportunity for design firms and investors alike.
Most countries, including the US, are outsourcing their manufacturing. One of the reasons for this is that many nations have very limited precious metal reserves. In fact, a startling amount of products we consume in the US are manufactured using metals from China because that country is home to a large share of the world’s reserves. It’s estimated that China alone has 50% of the planet’s supply and in fact for every ounce of gold mined or discovered somewhere else on Earth there is an additional eight ounces being extracted in China.
While this may be concerning for some people, it means that today’s innovative projects will be fueled by sustainable recycling and manufacturing practices. And while the US is unlikely to have access to these top metal reserves in the future, it’s a great time for American companies and investors to look westward.
In a world where oil prices are rising, the cost of everything from food to housing is increasing and sustainability in manufacturing has become an increasingly important issue, companies will need to find new ways of reducing costs and being greener. Metal packaging is one way that companies can reduce costs without affecting quality or impacting their product’s environmental footprint.
Paint provides an economical and effective means for metal containers to be environmentally sealed. Paint coatings offer protection against a variety of different factors such as rust, corrosion, abrasion wear and tear during handling, as well as providing some degree of insulation against external conditions such as temperature fluctuations and moisture.
Coatings are applied in a number of different ways including electroplating, powder coating and wet paint spraying.
Powder Coating is usually the most economical option for small to medium production runs. The process involves mixing the powdered coating material with a resin, adding additives and using compressed air to blow the mixture though an atomizing gun to produce a continuous fluid atomized stream of coating particles which then deposits on the work piece as it comes through an oven.
Paint spraying or wet paint spraying is another alternative method that can be used when high quality finishes are desired. A paint gun is used to spray droplets of paint at high velocity onto metal parts in a heated area under controlled conditions. Coatings are applied in a number of different ways including electroplating, powder coating and wet paint spraying.
The advantages that powder coating and paint spraying have over electroplating is that electroplating does not provide a hard surface for the substrate to bond to, and it does not achieve any depth of colour or gloss. The resin used in these processes contains a high level of solvents which can pose health risks to the operator and workers. Despite this, there is a smaller risk of abrasion wear due to the lack of hardness provided by the substrate.
In order to create a metal container with a new look and feel, as well as providing better protection against outside conditions, companies need innovative technologies that are eco-friendly, cost-effective and available when they need them. New powder coating technologies can meet these needs by using renewable resources to create more sustainable products. Instead of using non-renewable petrochemicals in paint coatings, the use of renewable bio based ingredients (such as ceral oil or starch) has been growing in popularity because of its increased sustainability and growth in its industry.
One of the problems for metal coatings today is that these coatings are applied using chemical processes as opposed to physical processes.
These chemical processes have disadvantages where there may be some variation in the surface finish due to deposition errors and temperature variations during the process. These variations can lead to defects in the coating, and unless there is adequate testing for this kind of problem, it could lead to food or drink contamination.
As an example, let’s consider lug cap manufacturers in india for food and beverages. This container may have a coating applied via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to the inside curve. This coating will be made up of useful metals such as nickel, palladium, and silver as well as elements such as titanium, tantalum and other metals. However, due to variations in deposition conditions when this process takes place at different temperatures and atmospheric pressure levels during the process, therefore the surface finish of this metal coating will be slightly different from one application to another or one batch of containers to another batch.
As a result, the surface finish of these coatings are not uniform or consistent.