Henkel introduces innovative low-temperature cleaners for aluminium beverage cans

GERMANY – Multinational chemical and consumer goods company, Henkel has developed a low-temperature cleaner for aluminum beverage cans amid increasing industry and consumer demand for recyclable packaging.

The new cleaner, Bonderite C-IC 72000 series, operates at a lower temperature of 43°C (110°F) compared to the conventional cleaners that typically operate at 60°C (140°F).

This leads to a significant reduction in natural gas consumption and lowers the plant’s carbon footprint, making it an environmentally friendly solution.

According to Henkel, results will vary from plant to plant based on their processes. However, during a recent trial, a customer reduced their natural gas use, contributing to a 38% reduction in carbon emissions.

Emily Mullins, Henkel’s director for Market Strategy Packaging Surface Treatment for Henkel Metals said: “There is strong demand from brand owners and consumers alike for recyclable packaging and packaging made from recycled materials, which are driving higher global demand for aluminum cans.

“Aluminum beverage cans are infinitely recyclable, meaning the metal can be recycled repeatedly with no loss of properties.

“Additionally, aluminum cans contain on average 65% recycled aluminum, which will only increase as more cans are recycled and returned into the aluminum supply chain.”

Mullins explains that the challenge for low-temperature can cleaning is to maintain the quality of the cleaning in the customer’s existing system by lowering the temperature without making any changes to the mechanics or processing time.

The Bonderite C-IC 72000 series cleaner also offers additional advantages in terms of water and maintenance.

The cleaner generates 75% less foam than standard cleaners in Henkel’s laboratory studies and has little to no carry-over of foam into downstream stages during the cleaning process.

It also reduces residue during rinse cycles, keeping rinse stages cleaner. Additionally, the lower bath temperature results in less evaporative losses and creates a less corrosive environment, which extends the lifetime of the steel washer and parts, reducing wear and water consumption and extending the service life of the cleaning system.

The Bonderite C-IC 72000 series product range will include traditional 2-pack systems that use separate etchant additions, as well as single-pack formulations with combined cleaner and etchant in a range of activity levels to suit the market needs.

Henkel’s low-temperature cleaner technology is already available in the Latin America region and will be introduced in all other regions of the world during 2023.

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