Quick question: How many cans do you think you normally use per day? Take a second to think about it because I guarantee you, you’re missing a few here and there. We spend most of our time on our blog talking about metal cans for food but that’s not all we’re here to discuss. In fact, most metal cans I use are aerosol (or spray) cans, yet we rarely ever talk about them. So, today I want to take the time to talk with you about this often-overlooked yet super-interesting can type.
When I try to think about my spray usage of cans, I can think of at least three different cans I use every day before heading out to work. The first one is obviously my deodorant which, to the disliking of my girlfriend, I tend to use very liberally. I’m not too big a morning person, so I like to skip washing my hair and instead use dry shampoo from the aerosol can – that’s two. To conclude my pre-work can routine I often find myself needing to use some form of canned air freshener in the bathroom – I’ll let you figure this one out for yourself. That’s it for me but you might use additional cans like hairspray, sprayable cooking oil or any other aerosol can I can’t think of right now.
Seriously, though: How Do Spray Cans Work
We take them for granted but have you ever asked yourself how these freaking spray cans work? I most certainly have not, until now that I’m supposed to tell you. So here we go:
This is sort of a general explanation that I believe is referring to all aerosol cans no matter what’s inside. First things first, you need a can. “Thanks, Captain Obvious!” – You got it! Second of all, you need the right liquid, be that the hair product of your choice, deodorant, varnish or colour doesn’t really matter. Fill said liquid into the can. If it’s colour or a substance of similar density (which, in this context, is a more sophisticated way to say thickness) you’ll want to add two little metal balls that help mix the fluid better when shaking the can before using. Then you add a thinner for the liquid to reach a certain thinness it needs in order to become sprayable.
When the liquids are all in place, the can is sealed shut with a lid that has a tube reaching to the bottom of the can attached and an opening at the top. The opening is controlled by a valve that only opens when pressure is applied from the top. In order to make the liquid come out as a spray, gas is channeled into the can through the valve and tube. At last the spray nozzle is attached to the opening of the valve on the top of the can, finishing the aerosol can.
Pushing down the nozzle, the part of the valve that keeps the can shut is pressed down thus creating an opening that allows the gas to push out the colour, varnish or deodorant through the tube and valve.
See, it’s not that complicated. The concept behind the aerosol can which has been invented by Norwegian engineer Eric Rotheim is quite simple actually.
What part of your life is made easier by the use of spray cans? Tell us in the comment section.