The Thousand Uses of Tin Sheets

Tin sheets in the home version represents an important share of this type of product which has many other applications in packaging, mechanics, construction such as the centrifugal casting equipement, in the field of shielded electrical cables, in flexible closures for bottles.

In reality, the so-called “tin sheets” that materialize in the rolls of thin aluminum foil of a few meters present in almost all of our kitchens and in all restaurants, has inspired myriads of alternative and very particular successful applications from a tin sheets metal supplier, to which they are interesting and instructive competitions for innovative ideas have been dedicated all over the world. This short article reports some uses of the sheet, sometimes very far from the original and priority application, the result of acute observations and a lot of imagination.


Homemade aluminum foil: the origins

In the 1930s, aluminum foil, which until then had been mainly used coupled with paper for the packaging of tobacco, chocolate and chewing gum, began to be sold in American “groceries” to be used in many stages of the barbecue, from protection from ash when wrapping the portions. Until then, some of these functions were performed by tin foil, a practice to which we owe the name of tinfoil which, along with many other names, still does not abandon aluminum foil today. The question of the name deserves a very brief digression, and concerns the many “wrong” names that have always accompanied the sheet used in the kitchen. In addition to the reference to tin, there is in fact also that of silver with the terms “silver paper” or “silver paper”, up to the almost correct reference of “aluminum paper” which is however imprecise due to the thickness, since the thinnest paper has values ​​around 25 microns while for thin aluminum we have between 5 and 6 microns in thickness. Returning to the history of aluminum foil in the 1930s, it should be remembered that at that time the sales of the product in the United States remained very low in a country that was still struggling to get completely out of the Great Recession.

In 1947 the economic and social situation of the United States was instead completely different, at the end of a terrible but victorious war that had given an enormous impetus to the most high-tech industrial productions, including the rolling of light alloys. Two years after the end of the conflict, however, some rolling lines that had produced the sheets needed for aircraft construction during the war remained unused and six of these federally owned lines were purchased by Reynolds Metals. Reynolds’ great idea was to change the purpose of the lines, created for semi-finished products also intended for war purposes, directing the production of a technologically simple sheet (the thickness initially was 20 microns), dedicated to a use of great economic and social utility. to encourage the consumption of parts of edible meat of lesser value. Reynolds Wrap was recommended for the consumption of “non-noble” parts of beef in a way that was then new to the American consumer: the sheet was used to wrap and cook a steak, then still called “Swiss”, the progenitor of the most famous hamburger, obtained by grinding the poor parts. With the addition of vegetables and sauces, the “aluminum foil” became a complete dish and it was also a saving, especially for restaurateurs, the fact that the operations of using the cookware and washing the dishes were simplified. The product also received a blessing from the federal government committed to promoting the consumption of all cuts of meat and between 1947 and 1948 it began to spread in the various states. The sales success was not only higher than expected, but has been maintained for all these years transforming Reynolds Wrap, which still maintains absolute leadership in the sector, into a true American icon.


Aluminum foil: different uses than usual

As mentioned in the introduction, there have been many different uses in the long history of HHF. It is easy to find lists and rankings online. The following is the result of a non-exhaustive personal choice. In particular, the list is linked to what is reported in some articles that have appeared in recent years in various magazines and newsletters in the savings and health sector and to personal experiences.

• Clean the pots: Take some aluminum foil and crumple it to make a big enough ball. After that, use it to polish the cookware that has burnt residues on it.

• Sharpen the scissors: When the scissors have lost their thread, just cut a folded aluminum sheet several times to restore functionality.

• Clean the iron: When the soleplate of the iron is dirty, even with deposits