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Metals used in Pharmaceutical Packaging

Metals used in Pharmaceutical Packaging

Metals used in Pharmaceutical Packaging - There are over seventy metals in the periodic table but out of these only tin, lead, aluminum, and iron are significant metal in pharmaceutical packaging.
Metals are used for the construction of containers. The metals used for this purpose are aluminum, tin-plated steel, and stainless steel, tin, and lead.


  • They are impermeable to light, moisture, gases, and water.
  • They are made into rigid unbreakable containers by impact extrusion.
  • They are light in weight compared to glass containers.
  • Labels can be printed directly onto their surface.


  • They are expensive.
  • They react with certain chemicals.
Metals can be fashioned into more complex delivery systems such as aerosol containers, metered-dose inhalers, and needles.
Dispersible systems such as ointment, gel are packed into collapsible metal tubes.

Details about Metals used in Pharmaceutical Packaging


Tin containers are preferred for food, pharmaceuticals, and any product for what purity is considered. Tin is frequently used in the production of aerosol cans by electroplating into a sheet of steel to improve corrosion resistance and facilitate soldering.
Tin is the most chemically inert of all collapsible metal tubes. Very resistant to chemical attack, good appearance, and compatibility with a wide range of products.
Tin and tin-coated tube are usually employed because of their non-reactive properties, although it is reported that tin tubes can be corroded by chloride or acidic conditions.


Aluminum is attractive in nature and has a very low cost. Aluminum tubes offer significant savings in product shipping costs because of their lightweight. Aluminum is produced by the electrolysis of bauxite.
Aluminum strong and shatterproof, totally impermeable to gases. Easily decorated with very attractive finishes.
Metals can provide the ultimate in tamper evidence for drug containers.


Lead has the lowest cost of all-tube metals. It is generally used for non-food products such as adhesives, lubricants, and paints, inks.
The lead should never be used for anything taken internally because of the risk of lead poisoning. With internal linings, lead tubes are used for such products as fluoride toothpaste.

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