Aluminium is the most common metal in our everyday life! It makes up for 8% of the Earth crust and it is widely used for a variety of purposes: constructions, aircrafts, bikes and even food packaging. In the last case especially, 100% pure Aluminium must be employed; no alloys involved. In fact, aluminium at its pure status seems very suitable for food packaging solutions.
Aluminium is a soft, ductile and very malleable metal. It can be shaped into any form needed. Thanks to its low density, it is very light; hence easy and cheap to transport. Key advantages of aluminium are being moisture resistant, bearing extreme temperatures, being a heat conductor but also heat resistant and corrosion resistant. In other words, Aluminium is ideal for containing, heating, freezing and even consuming food.
Thanks to its non-toxic properties, the metal can preserve hygienic standards extremely well. A must in the food industry! There, aluminium is employed on an increasingly large scale, but it can also be recycled an infinite amount of times. Thus, sustainability goals can be reached even in an industry where a massive amount of waste is produced! Not to mention that recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy required to extract the metal from scratch.
Yet, how do we go from the aluminium blocks to the package? Firstly, Aluminium it is not found on its own. It is extracted in form of Bauxite through a long and energy-consuming process. Just afterwards, aluminium ore is melted and cast into big blocks. These are then pressed until it becomes a thin panel. The aluminium foil is then rolled up and cut into the size needed.
In the case of food containers and disposable trays, the roll is applied at the start of a machine. The unfolded foil goes through a cutting machine. Here the magic happens: the bottom of the press has a negative 3D shape, like a hollow die. The foil is pushed through, it enters the hollow shape and fills it in. The foil has now taken the shape desired.
The upper part of the machine presses the foil and cuts the edges of the desired shape, dividing the single blocks from the rest of the foil roll. The process can be seen as similar to cutting cookies’ shapes from fresh dough with a stamp! Dimensions and design of the tray can be personalized, with aluminium’s shiny colour as another advantage that makes packages appealing to customers.
Since 2004, Shanghai Metal Corporation does not only supply Aluminium Foil Paper, Bags and Rigid Containers, but also Aluminium Foil for Flexible Packaging and for Vacuumed Packed Bags. At SMC we also produce and sell machines for aluminium manufacturing, such as our Aluminium Foil Container Making Machine. For a full list of products and enquiries, please click here.