Raybestos Aftermarket Products Co. is the first to commercialize a new breed of aerosol can. The Crawfordsville IN firm is selling its 8-oz transmission assembly lubricant in a seamless two-piece drawn-and-ironed (D&I) tinplate steel can developed by Dispensing Containers Corp. (Glen Gardner NJ). "We considered a more conventional three-piece welded can but then we felt if we're going to introduce a new product why not put it in a brand new kind of aerosol container?" says Raybestos general manager Frank Slocum. Typically aerosol cans are three-piece welded steel or impact-extruded aluminum. DCC saw disadvantages in both these can types and so it sought an alternative says CEO George Diamond who described his can system in a May 9 paper at Metpack 96 in Essen Germany. The downside to the three-piece welded can is its weight says Diamond. "If you use material thinner than six or seven thousandths of an inch it can burn through under welding conditions" says Diamond. Also can sidewall must be a uniform thickness from top to bottom because it's made from a flat sheet of material that's rolled and welded. In a D&I can manufacturing begins with material having uniform thickness say .012". After cupping and ironing the can bottom where the ability to withstand internal pressures is most critical retains virtually the same thickness. But the sidewalls can be thinned during ironing to .0045" in the case of the Raybestos can. And near the top where necking and flanging require a little heavier material the thickness can again be controlled; in the Raybestos can it's .007". The ability to distribute material as needed paves the way to lightweighting. The 211/413 Raybestos can with its sidewall thickness of .0045" weighs 47.7 g. A comparable three-piece welded can says DCC weighs 74.7 g. That makes the D&I can more environmentally favorable. It scores additional "green" points because it consumes 30 to 50% less energy from cradle to grave than three-piece welded cans says Diamond. The light weight of the can also yields material cost savings. According to Diamond the Raybestos can in a three-piece welded steel format would cost about 13¢. "Ours is about eleven cents" says Diamond. The price advantage is even more noticeable when DCC's two-piece steel can is compared to an impact-extrusion aluminum can. This would cost says Diamond in the neighborhood of 24¢.