When closing an Open or Closed Head drum for shipment, it’s critical to follow the manufacturer’s specific Closure Instruction for the drum especially noting the importance of the gasket. For a Closed Head drum, there are gaskets located in between the closing plugs and their flanges. For Open Head drums, there is a gasket located in the removable cover. In the case of the Closed Head drums, the shipper must ensure that the gaskets are properly seated around the plugs. For the Open Heads, fillers are instructed to insure that the cover gasket is properly fitted into the cover groove. While most new drums are shipped with the gasket in place, it is still important that fillers recognize that UN tested drums are fitted with fresh gaskets and therefore, the fresher the gasket when filling, the better the closure. While most gaskets are made from rubber derivatives, gasket properties can change with use, time, temperature and age. Given these potential property changes, gaskets are expected to perform in compliance with the UN marked rating of the drum. When filling, if there is doubt about the gasket integrity, call the original manufacturer and purchase replacement gaskets. It’s worth a few dollars to insure a secure closure.
STEEL DRUM INDUSTRY NEWS, TRENDS AND ISSUES
Archive for March, 2012
Recently, I received a sample product that was sent to me via airmail, and whether or not the vendor knows it, they could have been fined for the illegal shipping of a hazardous material. Such fines can amount to $50,000! I know it was not their intention to violate hazmat shipping regulations but they were probably ignorant of the regulations and never gave their product the respect it requires. 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. If a shipper suspects that contents have the potential of being hazardous — regardless of the quantity — they 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, those in the hazmat community are only 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://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat. If you still need additional assistance, your raw material vendors or carriers should be able to offer further classification information and hazards criteria that will be essential for package and shipping mode selection.
One of the most common questions that we get about our wine drums is how to clean them in between uses. As this year’s Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento we came across a new product that answers that question. Sanitech Corporation has developed a line of sanitation systems for the unique requirements of our stainless steel wine barrels. The Mark Series machine incorporates the new technology of pressurized wet steam at temperatures between 240F to 330F to sanitize and degrease without chemicals. The high temperature of the pressurized wet steam kills most bacteria on contact and thermally breaks down residual deposits. Traditionally, this has been achieved through the use of high cost chemicals and intensive manual cleaning which can lead to further contamination. The Sanitech machine sanitizes and cleans in a single and easy step while also eliminating the cost of chemicals. The machine is portable and the system is able to access typically hard to reach areas. The water requirements are lower than a pressure washer’s thereby conserving water and saving the environment from chemical effluents in the sewage. Sanitech machines are USDA compliant for indoor usage as they run on environmentally friendly LPG, which is a clean burning fuel. Using Sanitech equipment gives you close to zero bacteria counts, saves money spent on cleaning crews and chemicals, and reduces wear and tear on equipment through a single step sanitation process. For more information on Sanitech visit their website at http://www.sanitech.com