Aluminum

Most beer cans and soft-drink cans are made of aluminum. Compared to the steel can, the aluminum can is lighter, more corrosion resistant, more formable, lower in structural strength, and more costly.

To a large degree, the lower structural strength has limited the use of the aluminum can to the bottling of carbonated beverages, where the can gains structural support from the internal gas pressure. However, the lower strength and greater formability also allow the two-piece aluminum can (can body plus the top lid) to be formed more readily. This is accomplished by forging an aluminum disk into a cup so that the bottom and the sides are all in one piece. The two-piece can eliminates the side and bottom joints, and thus the chance of leakers is also reduced.

The popularity of the aluminum can is partly attributed to its recyclability. The economics incentive for recycling of aluminum cans is high, and the aluminum industry has established an effective collection and reprocessing system.

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