Shipments of aluminium foil reached a record high in 2004 with deliveries reaching 820,350 tons, an increase of 1.1 per cent over the previous year (811,400 tons), according to the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).
The growth figures disguise an even better picture when the ongoing practice of down gauging in aluminium foil rolling is considered. Over the last 30 years the average down gauging effect in packaging applications was around 30 %.
Deliveries were driven as much by exports as by sales within EAFA regions.
Commenting on the economic outlook Bill Morris, President of EAFA, said: “We expect this trend to continue in 2005. The level of demand of aluminium foil especially for exportation outside the EAFA region underlines the global leadership of the European foil industry in terms of quality and competitiveness.”
Approximately 75 per cent of aluminium foil is used in packaging where its characteristics of strength, formability and barrier properties have made it an essential part of many flexible packaging and container applications. The number of new products that feature innovative uses of alufoil-based packaging indicates a healthy future for the material. Other uses of aluminium foil include automotive and other heat exchange components, insulation material and other industrial applications.
With 123 members EAFA is the international body that represents the interests of the major rollers, converters, household foil rewinders and container manufacturers in Europe. Full details of members and further news and information about aluminium foil, its characteristics and applications can be found on the EAFA website www.alufoil.org.