Improved roof control in high deformation tailgate environments has been achieved over the last decade through development of stiffer and increased capacity standing support products. ‘The Can’ is one such development, being a steel cylinder containing a weak cementitious fill, designed to essentially fold in upon itself whilst maintaining strength. A laboratory study to better define the relative load contributions of the steel cylinder and fill, the confining interaction between these components and most importantly, the potential impact of varying the steel and/or fill properties is described. This would enable the support engineer to ‘dial-up’ the desired strength and stiffness properties and optimise the standing support design with respect to load capacity, stiffness, weight (handling) and cost. Design curves to optimise strength based on steel casing thickness, fill strength (confined and unconfined) and ‘Can’ geometry were established. Scaled-down (one-third) samples were used in the test program and found to adequately reflect the loading behaviour of full-scale versions, thereby providing significantly greater scope for further product development at less expense compared with testing full-scale products.