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The Brilliant Design of the Soda Can, Explained

Honestly, who knew?
April 14, 2015, 6:24pm

​It's incredible that we take some of life's little engineering marvels for granted. Take the aluminum can, the trusty cylindrical container that keeps your Diet Coke fresh and portable.

As YouTube's "Engineerguy" Bill Hammack explains, the can's brilliant design is a cylinder because it contains the best parts of a sphere (its surface area) with a cuboid-shaped design that makes the can sturdy and stackable.

There's a lot to take in in this 11-minute video, but it's well worth a watch. For example, the can's diameter has shrunk six millimeters since the 1960s, which, in return saves "at least 90 million kilograms of aluminum annually." That's incredible considering the Big Aluminum Can Industry produces more than 100 billion cans each year.

And how about that stay-on tab? Well, that was a replacement for a pull tab that left a disposable piece of metal, which was usually tossed on the ground. So, take some time today and bow down to your Diet Coke.