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October 21, 2003
JFE Steel Corporation

JFE Steel Develops New Film Laminated Steel Sheet for Food Cans
"Universal Brite Type-F" Enters Commercial Production for
North American Can Manufacturers




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 can applications.

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.





For further information, please contact:

Public Relations Sec., General Administration Dept.
JFE Steel Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3597-3166
Fax: +81-3-3597-4911
  



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