Have you got some of our tinplated steel in your pantry? Chances are, YES!

Did you know that we are the only steel producer in Canada supplying into the consumer packaging segment. We produce approximately 275,000 net tons of consumer packaging steel each year. The team over at our No.3 Electroplating Line (E-Line) pumps out an average of 80 coils every 24 hours and that steel is shipped to seven major customers around North America. The majority is converted into human and pet food cans, however customers also use our steel for many other solutions, such as aerosol cans, paint cans and oil filters.

Our electroplating line is dual purpose, meaning that we coat both tin and tin free steel (TFS) products on the same line. We supply consumer packaging products across the full range of ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) continuous annealed steel grade designations – roughly 30 different products. In addition, we support customers with unique high strength and high elongation steels. Each product has exacting metallurgical properties designed to meet the unique requirements of customers’ end uses.

Did you know?

According to the Can Manufacturer’s Institute, more than 32 billion steel cans are manufactured and shipped to the consumer packaging sector every year. To support this market, each of our customers operate multiple can-making plants, and each plant can produce millions of cans per week. Many plants produce millions of cans every day!

The advantages of canned foods are price, freshness, availability, durability and convenience. Did you know that canned foods do not need artificial preservatives, because they are naturally preserved from the canning process? Plus, canned fruits and vegetables are on par nutritionally with fresh and frozen varieties, and in some cases even better.

If you don’t have steel cans in your pantry, they are sure to be elsewhere in your home. Everything from shaving cream to bug spray and cleaning products are packaged in steel. That’s because leak-proof steel protects these products from contamination and evaporation. Then, when empty, they can be infinitely recycled. Thanks to its magnetic properties, steel is the easiest and most economical type of material to sort and recover for recycling. Plus, each item of recycled steel packaging saves one-and-a-half times its weight in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Suffice to say, there’s much more to a tin can than you may have thought!

 

The history of Tin at Dofasco

Below is an excerpt from our 100th anniversary book, This is us, about how our company came to begin producing tinplated steel:

In 1928, when company executives decided to diversify their products, they looked to lighter gauge steels and decided that tin would be the ticket. Up to this point, all tin had been imported from the United States.

The next step was to figure out how to make tin with the available equipment. The plate mill could roll an ingot down significantly, but not far enough. The solution? Convert the plate mill to a “Steckel” hot strip mill. The next step was to put a cold reduction process in place. This was accomplished by buying a pilot mill.

The first all-Canadian tin was off to market in 1935. The tin did well enough to require a second Cold Mill, which was added in 1937. The 24/7 concept came into play at this time, as demand for tin was so high that the two cold mills were absorbing enough tonnage to keep the open hearth and hot mill departments operating 24 hours a day. Dofasco “Tin Girls” are legendary. With swelling ranks during the Second World War, the women were a critical part of the laboratory and inspecting/sorting areas—hundreds of Hamilton’s own “Rosie the Riveters.”