TOKYO - JFE Steel Corporation has commercialized
"Universal Brite Type-F," a newly developed
film laminated steel sheet for food cans (draw-redraw
"DRD" cans). The new sheet is the first of
its kind in the world, and features excellent
content release properties and formability
while also being more environment-friendly.
Several leading North American can manufacturers
have already selected the new sheet for their
products, and commercial production is underway.
Conventional food cans use coated steel
sheets, but there are several problems with
this, including how to treat the toxic substances
(waste solvents and coating materials) generated
in the coating process and how to reduce the
waste gas (CO2) emitted
in large quantities during the baking process.
Environmental concerns make it necessary to
do away with the coating and baking processes,
eliminate toxic substances and reduce CO2
emissions. There have been some attempts to
use PET laminated steel sheets in place of
coated steel sheets for beverage cans, which
resulted in products that are friendly to
the environment but have poor content release.
Use of laminated steel sheets has therefore
been limited to a very small number of food
JFE Steel decided to embark on the development
of a new surface-coated steel that would reduce
environmental impact and also improve work
efficiency for can manufacturers. The result
is a laminated steel sheet that has formability,
film adhesion, corrosion resistance and content
release properties at least on a par with
conventional coated steel, can be used on
the can-making facilities currently installed
in canning factories, and allows the coating
and baking processes to be eliminated altogether.
JFE Steel has commercialized the product
as "Universal Brite Type-F," one of its "Only
One" products based on proprietary JFE technology.
Its features are as follows:
- Eliminates the coating process required
for conventional surface-coated steel sheets
- Excellent formability thanks to the use
of a PET film with a special crystalline structure
- Extremely easy content (fish, meat, etc.)
release thanks to the use of a special additive
- Reduced film damage during processing,
and excellent resistance to corrosion from
content compared to coated cans
As several leading can manufacturers have
chosen to use "Universal Brite Type-F" in
North America, one of the largest markets
for canned foods, JFE Steel has already begun
commercial production. Other major American
and European can manufacturers are in the
process of evaluating and approving the new
material, an indication of the large impact
that it already has had on the industry.
JFE Steel plans to expand production and
sales of the new product, seeking to position
it as the standard steel sheet for food cans
in an increasingly environment-aware world.