How are fizzy drinks cans made?

Find out with Sir Sidney McSprocket!

Sir Sidney McSprocket’s been in action capturing facts – all about manufacturing!

Today he’s finding out all about tin cans – the kind you get fizzy pop in!

Aluminium that the cans are made from is derived from an ore called bauxite…

Quite a lot of the aluminium used also comes from recycled cans. There’s tiny amounts of other metals too – like magnesium and copper.

The first step of creating an aluminium can is cutting a blank!

A big lump of aluminium is rolled into a thin sheet and a 14cm circle is cut – this will make the base and sides of the can.

The circles are laid out in a way that leaves as little waste as possible… A bit like when your grannie makes biscuits with a pastry cutter.

The next step is called ‘drawing the cup’…

Another machine punches and pulls the circle into a can shape and a bump is pressed into the base, all in about one fifth of a second!

Now it’s time to do something with a really funny name… trimming the ears!

This expression just means that the top of the can sometimes looks a bit wavy and so it’s trimmed to make it smooth and level.

Cleaning and decorating comes next and varnishes are used to make sure the drink doesn’t get spoiled by the metal.

A neck is also created which will be folded over once the lid is added. At this point, the can’ll be sent to a drinks company to be filled with delicious fizzy pop.

Once the fizzy pop is inside, we’re going to need a lid to prevent spillage.

It has to be thicker than the walls of the can to withstand the pressure of the beverage inside the can, and includes a ring pull to enable you to liberate the contents into your mouth!

The lid is attached to the can by pressing and folding the edges together.

The manufacturing process is so efficient that only about one in fifty thousand cans will have a defect.


Sidney McSprocket is Fun Kids’ resident inventor!

When he’s not in Edinburgh, tinkering with wacky contraptions in his workshop, he’s finding out all about manufacturing!

In the latest series, Sidney is finding out about a whole load of everyday objects from tin cans and toothbrushes to plastic bottles and Pyrex…

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Sidney McSprocket’s How’s it Made, with support from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851.

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