• 08 – 10 October 2024
  • Exhib. Centre Düsseldorf

Low temperature cleaner for aluminium cans

10. Mai 2023

The new low-temperature cleaner for aluminium beverage cans is used in classic spray systems.
© Henkel

First low-temperature cleaners for more efficient and sustainable aluminium can production

The chemical company Henkel has recently developed a low-temperature cleaner for metal beverage cans - the innovative aluminium can cleaner requires only 43 °C instead of about 60 °C operating temperature. Despite the lower temperature, the spray cleaner cleans effectively and additionally contributes to a more efficient and sustainable aluminium can production.

The energy savings of this new method can also reduce CO2 emissions, with a recent trial at a user site showing a 38% reduction in CO2 emissions. Beyond the reduced carbon footprint, the lower temperature also creates a more comfortable working environment for employees near the cleaning bath. The cleaner also offers advantages in terms of water consumption and maintenance.

The lower the temperature, the greater the effect

When used in classic spray plants, the Bonderite C-IC 72000 series cleans at lower temperatures, reducing natural gas consumption and the carbon footprint in the plant. Compared to conventional cleaners, which typically use around 60 degrees Celsius, the new series requires a lower operating temperature of 43 degrees Celsius. The results can vary, depending on the plant and the processes involved.

Initial tests have shown that natural gas consumption in the plant can be reduced by 32 per cent by shutting down one boiler. In a recent trial, one customer was able to significantly reduce its natural gas consumption, achieving as much as a 38 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, recent tests have shown a 5 to 20 per cent reduction in water consumption.

Benefits are also evident in water consumption and maintenance: the cleaner is low-foaming, producing 75 percent less foam than standard cleaners in Henkel's laboratory tests. Compared to standard cleaners, the foam is hardly or not at all carried over into the downstream stages during the cleaning process. In addition, residues are reduced during the rinsing cycles, so that the rinsing stages remain cleaner. The lower bath temperature also results in lower evaporation losses and creates a less corrosive environment, which extends the life of the steel washer and parts. This reduces both wear and water consumption, while increasing the service life of the cleaning system.

A contribution to sustainability 

"The low-temperature cleaner offers very good cleaning performance and makes an excellent contribution to sustainability," explains Mireia Martinez, Head of Innovation and Marketing & Strategy for the Metal Business Unit at Henkel Adhesive Technologies. The Bonderite C-IC 72000 series efficiently removes lubricants from the forming process. Combined with the reduction of natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions and water savings, this innovative cleaner contributes to greater sustainability throughout the can-making process.

Henkel's new cleaner technology is already available in Latin America and will be rolled out to all other regions of the world during 2023.