Drinking a coke yesterday, I randomly began to think about how an aluminum can came into being. Why is it not any other shape? How do cans use such little aluminum but are structurally sound until they’re drunk? I found out that there’s actually a ton of design work that went into the adoption of current aluminum cans. From studies in close packing, , to the physics of fluids in containers, not many stones were left unturned when it came to the design of the humble aluminum can. Combining the high surface area to volume ratio of a circle with the close packing advantage of a cube, the cylindrical shape of modern day aluminum cans is a marriage of form and function.
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