Aluminium foil container is an essential item in the packaging industry. Establishing a modern comprehensive aluminium foil manufacturing business is a profitable venture for Indian entrepreneurs. Apart from rolls, aluminium foil containers are also hugely popular. Aluminium is the most widely used non-ferrous metal and is extensively used in packaging materials. Specifically, aluminium provides an absolute barrier to protect foods, whether on the shelf, in the cooler or in the freezer. Aluminium foil manufacturing can be initiated as medium and large scale basis. Here in this article, we will explore how to start an aluminium foil and containers manufacturing business with all relevant information.
Advantages Of Aluminium Foil Container
Aluminium foil containers bring many advantages to the food packaging industry. These unique advantages position aluminium foil containers among material choices for the food processing industry, the food service industry and consumer alike. It qualifies as the “perfect package” for numerous food packaging applications. Some of the major advantages are:
- Because foil can withstand wide temperature changes better than other packaging materials, it can go from freezer to oven to the dinner table without changing containers.
- Aluminium foil containers are designed so that they nest very well, taking up little space
- These containers are leak-resistant and keep foods fresher whether in the refrigerator or in the freezer
- These containers are easy to clean up for re-use or for recycling. One of the aluminium’s environmental advantages is its recyclability. Aluminium has an inherent value.
Aluminium Foil Container – Market Potential
The aluminium foil is used for packaging of many products. Some of which are pharmaceutical tablets, bulk & unitized packing of tea and coffee, prepared meals, bakery products, frozen meat, fish, milk bottle caps, wine, lube oil, greases, powdered milk, confectionery, biscuits, photographic film, gift wraps, household wraps, butter, margarine, cigarettes. India is one of the key producers of aluminium foil in the region. Pharmaceutical packaging is one of the major applications followed by liquid packaging, laminated tubes, and a variety of food and non-food packaging applications. Finstock is the major industrial application finding use in automotive air conditioners, heat exchangers and domestic air conditioning. The past production of foil shows an overall growth rate of about 8% only. The usage pattern, being very sensitive to price and availability, keeps on changing from time to time depending upon the economies of usage of aluminium foil compared to other products.
Aluminium Foil Container Unit Setup
A high-quality with modern technology aluminium foil container unit is financially a profitable venture. In this type of unit, manufacturing operation includes manufacturing foils, designing, printing and aluminium foil container making.
Purified aluminum oxide is obtained from bauxite by the Bayer Process. Aluminum metal is produced in the Hall reduction cell. In this process, Al2O3 is dissolved in a molten salt (cryolite—Na3AlF6) at temperatures of 900 to 1000 OC. Electric current is passed through the reduction cell which results in oxygen being released at the carbon anodes and molten aluminum being produced at the cathode, underneath the molten salt layer.
The aluminum is virtually pure metal, having an aluminum content of 99.5% or more.The molten aluminum is drawn from the reduction cell and cast into billets, direct chill (DC) ingots or continuously cast into a sheet.
When producing foil, the pure metal is alloyed to meet desired foil specifications and cast into sheet metal that may be from 0.2” to 0.4”, depending upon the producer. The sheet is cold rolled to the appropriate reroll stock gauge and shipped to a foil plant. At the foil plant, the metal passes through a series of rolling mills with a gauge reduction of 50% or more for each pass through each mill.
Aluminum rolling is not like rolling softer materials such as plastic or paper where a single pair of metal rolls can assure gauge control. In order to correct this problem, foil mills employ a number of means to control the rolling process. The rolls next to the metal are called “work rolls”. The rolling mill employs a series of backup rolls to help ensure appropriate rolling pressure across the web via enhanced rigidity and reduction of roll deflection. This allows higher or variable loads to be absorbed while maintaining a given roll gap profile. Gauge control is achieved by continuous computer monitoring of gauge at each mill.
At about a 75% gauge reduction, the aluminum has work hardened as it passed through to rolling mills. At this point, the metal in coil form is annealed in an annealing oven where it is held at 600 – 1,000 OF for eight or more hours. Annealing accomplishes two things: the resulting metal is softened and the rolling oils are removed. Most aluminum foil is also annealed after the finished gauge is reached since soft, oil-free metal is usually desirable when the aluminum is converted into final products.
Aluminum foil container stock is often coated or printed to protect the container from corrosive food products or add color for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Since aluminum foil containers vary greatly in size, the coils at the foil plant are slit to the appropriate width prior to transfer to the aluminum foil container manufacturer. The slitting stations also apply a food grade texture to the foil. This texture acts as a lubricant which is required in the forming of a container and remains on finished containers providing a release agent for the food contained within it.
Aluminum foil containers are formed on presses that are fed from coils of feedstock. These presses can produce single or multiple containers with a single stroke. The blank is cut and formed into a container with the edges curled in a single operation. Embossing and the formation of metal patterns for functional and decorative reasons are also performed by the presses.
Apart from the large scale operation, a small scale aluminium foil container making plant is also profitable.