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Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

1A2 UN Certified Drums

April 17th, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: DOT/UN

If you are familiar with UN markings and what they mean then the title of this post was easy to decipher if, however, you read the name of this post and felt confused then we’ll get you up to speed. 1A2 drums are, most simply put, open head steel drums.  The characters make up the first section of a UN code for containers, which are followed with other letters and numbers that denote what types of materials the container can hold and other important information.  This code helps anyone coming into contact with the drum to understand key characteristics of the container and make proper safety choices in terms of shipping and storing the drum.

Broken down, the ‘1’ informs the reader that the container is a drum.  Although that seems obvious if a person is looking at the container it helps on paper; a list of items on a truck, or in storage facility may have all kinds of different shapes and sizes of containers.  The ‘A’ means the drum is made of steel, and knowing this will already help to determine potential content and safety requirements.  Finally, the ‘2’ indicates that this type of steel drum has an open head, meaning the lid of the drum is detachable and can be removed.  Put together these 3 small characters let anyone with knowledge of the UN code know that this drum is an open head steel drum.

Since an open head drum has a removable lid there are closures attached to the head that prevent the lid from detaching during transport or storage.  The two types of closure are are a bolt ring or lever lock.  If used properly, both will successfully keep the head attached to the drum.  When using a bolt ring closure you first want to make sure the gasket is fitted into cover groove and that the gasket is properly sealed when the cover in on the drum.  Then with the lugs facing downward, position the ring to ensure the it connect the drum curl and cover.  Next, insert the bolt and thread the hex nut to close the ring.  Using a calibrated torque wrench, tighten the bolt and follow with hammering the outside of the ring.  Continue this until the torque is stable at 55-60 lbs; the ring ends should not touch.  Tighten the nut once more and you have successfully attached your bolt ring closure to the 1A2 drum.

Using a lever lock closure beings with the same step to ensure the gasket is properly fitted on the cover and sealed when in contact with drum curl.  Opening the lever lock expands the ring so it will fit onto the drum cover.  Closing the lever lock slowly and cautiously engages the outer ring with the body of the drum.  To complete the closure lock the ring.  You’ll notice the lever lock is a quicker way to close open head drums.  Since it doesn’t require tools or measuring this closure is a simple yet effective way to safely close 1A2 drums and are available in both carbon and salvage drum styles.

1A2 drums are UN certified open head steel drums.  They are a strong, sturdy container with many uses and come in a variety of sizes.  The effective closure option, bolt ring and lever lock, ensure the drum heads are safely secured to the body during storage and transport.  Remember, while a 1A2 drum is a commonly used container it is not the best choice for everyone’s needs.  You should always make sure that you are using the proper container for whatever contents you need stored or shipped.  Preventing incidents starts with an understanding of which drum is right for you.

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