Why the Simple Aluminium Can is Actually a Brilliant Piece of Engineering

By Andrew Liszewski on at

You probably don’t give much thought to the aluminium can holding your sweet, sweet caffeine hit at lunch. But engineerguy Bill Hammack explains why the simple cylindrical can holding your Coke is actually brilliantly designed and engineered for being both easy and cheap to produce, but also strong and durable for shipping.

Over the years the design of the aluminium can has been refined again and again, both to improve its durability, but also to minimise the amount of material needed. For instance, did you know that an aluminium can’s lid has shrunk about six millimetres in diameter over the years? And when you consider that over 100 billion cans are produced annually, that size reduction results in a savings of over 900 metric tonnes of aluminium. Amazing.