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

Archive for 2006

Altering A Drum Design-type Invalidates UN Certification

November 7th, 2006 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN

When buying a UN specification drum, the entire design of the drum and all its components (heads, ring, gasket, bolt, nut, plugs) is defined by the test samples. With all of these elements being incorporated into a drum type that must meet a test standard, users cannot alter or exchange any of these components as it might impact the ability for the drum to perform as certified. If a filler changes the ring from a nut and bolt style to a leverlock, or even changes the gasket, this would void the UN certification. If replacement parts are needed, fillers must make sure that they get original parts, from the manufacturer, that meet the test criteria of that specific drum. Remember, once a drum is filled, DOT & UN compliance is the responsibility of the shipper.

How To Avoid A $50,000 Fine From DOT

November 7th, 2006 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Do you know if the contents you are shipping are classified as a dangerous good or hazardous material? Be cautious, violations for illegal or non-compliant shipments are severe. Once a shipper suspects that contents have the potential of being hazardous — regardless of the quantity — one should begin researching compliance. Issues such as new product development, changes in the formulation, changes in the packaging, and mode(s) of transport can all effect compliance. Furthermore, these regulations are amended daily. Finding someone to help with proper classification and packaging can be easier said than done. Liabilities for offering information have never been greater, and to this end, few in the haz-mat community are able to suggest the answers needed. To start, the DOT has a hotline for fielding these inquiries at 1-800-467-4922 or visit http://hazmat.dot.gov./ If you still need additional assistance, your raw material vendors should be able to offer further classification information and hazards criteria that will be essential for package and shipping mode selection.

Skolnik Revises Company Closure Instructions

October 10th, 2006 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Our ongoing improvement of drum ring closing procedure has revealed that torque value is the best criteria to determine full closure. In the past instruction, we indicated that gap-width was the primary criteria. Though all our drums are tested using both gap and torque, we believe that torque can compensate for surface friction, climate variations and metal hardness. Therefore, effective September 25th, 2006, we have revised our Closure Instructions to indicate torque to 55–60 ft./lbs. All shippers of hazardous materials are responsible for following the closure instructions that accompany all UN or DOT marked packagings. DOT requires that a container must be closed to instruction when filled prior to transport (CRF 178.2(c)). Before releasing the container into transportation, the shipper should verify the tightness of closures to determine if the effects of heating and cooling or gasket relaxation have resulted in the need to re-torque the closure. Closure instructions are NOT generic and must be current to the date of manufacture. Skolnik provides closure instructions for every product manufactured. If you need a current copy, contact customer service or go to: http://www.skolnik.com/closureinstructions092506.pdf.

As Metal Thickness Increases, The Gauge Decreases… Why?

October 10th, 2006 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Cool Stuff

Though common knowledge, few people know why the thickness of steel diminishes as the gauge increases (ie: 16 gauge steel is thicker than 20 gauge steel). The explanation comes from the early development of a steel gauge measurement system in which the control measurement was based on a 1″ thick steel plate. The 1″ thickness of the steel was measured in diminishing fractions such as 1/14″ thick, 1/16″ thick, 1/20″ thick, and so on. The bottom number of the fraction became an easy identifier and eventually was adopted as the “gauge number.” Thus, 1/16″ became 16 gauge and 1/20″ became 20 gauge. The concept makes sense but without explanation, the converse number is often confusing. By taking the gauge number and returning it back to a fractional format, one can discover the actual nominal thickness dimension, in inches, of sheet steel.