The ingenious design of the aluminum beverage can

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These are fantastic videos. I use them in my upper level chemistry classes all the time.


This guy needs to make more videos. They are all fascinating.


Great video. I especially like last part with the modern tab - no idea that this is how they work, since people usually open them so fast.


Fascinatingly detailed.

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A former coworker told me a story about how he had written some code for plant that made these cans. His code was supposed to detect (somehow) defective cans – if found defective a poof of air would knock it off the belt. Well… he got called in because every can was getting poofed off.


Was it an 8 million dollar project?

Fascinating. Though i thought more would have been made of the failure by design can opening which has to be strong enough to withstand the pressure and occasional knocks but weak enough to be opened.

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I was about to consume a beverage from an aluminum can, but then I stopped.

I am not worthy of its majesty.


Well, I learned something. Gonna watch more of these!

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It was noted how the shape can pack more closely than the rectangular shape, but I so seldom see cans actually packed like that. Only in the largest pallets. Otherwise they come packed side by side and in rectangular boxes that save no space.

ETA: Perhaps they’re kept in a more efficient packing until they leave the factory, after which, the manufacturer doesn’t care how much space they take up…

That video was just the wonderful thing I needed today. And now I have a new video series to devour. Thanks, Mark!

I was mildly disappointed that he did not mention the first tabs designed to replace the pull off tabs which might have been called the push tab. You pushed down and voila! the can opens. Of course, you’d often end up bleeding into your drink when you cut your finger on the opening edge. Needless to say, this design was fairly quickly replaced with what we are used to today. Also, I always amused to find that the tool to open flat top beverage cans was called a ‘church key’.

That URL 404s. Here it is at the Wayback Machine.

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