It’s a staple of our daily lives and available in any supermarket: the tin can, invincible container for any kind of food. Tin cans have none other than Napoleon Bonaparte to thank for their arrival on the shelves of virtually every home in the world. That’s because in 1795, Napoleon offered 12,000 francs in prize money to anyone who could supply his armies with non-perishable food. The winner of the contest was Paris confectioner Nicolas Appert with an invention that was a simple as it was ingenious: fill jars with food, heat the jars, apply an air-tight seal, and there you go—provisions that will stay edible for a virtually unlimited amount of time. What we now know as the tin can was born in 1810, when British businessman Peter Durand began preserving foods using metal canisters rather than jars.
Today’s global market for canned goods is valued at around US$98 billion and will likely grow to some US$118 billion by 2023. An even bigger packaging hit than the tin can was the beverage can, which was
invented in the US in the early 1930s. Last year, nearly 3.5 billion beverage cans were sold in Germany alone.
Demand for compact beverage packaging solutions has been growing worldwide: according to a report prepared by Grand View Research, a market research firm in the US, the value of the global market for beverage cans is expected to rise to US$60.92 billion by 2024.
A coating inside the can is the key to preventing any reaction from occurring between the metal wall and
the actual content of the can. In addition to performing exceptionally well, this coating also needs to be highly
elastic and durable, so that the food inside will remain well protected even if the can is dented. Products based
on epoxy resins have become established over the years as the industry standard. Unfortunately, the basic raw
material used for these—bisphenol A, or BPA—poses health risks and, as such, has been a subject of public
controversy for some time.
This is where Evonik’s Crosslinkers business line comes into play: the experts at Crosslinkers have developed VESTANAT® B1186A, a crosslinker that can be used for making tin can liners based on polyurethane.
VESTANAT® B1186A thus meets the strictest requirements of governmental food safety agencies, which have approved the product as a non-hazardous solution for can linings in direct contact with food. This application has been established on the market for several years now.