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

Archive for July, 2018

Gasket Inspection is Essential for Compliant Closure

July 24th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

If you are using a United Nations certified open or closed head steel drum, the closure system most likely relies on a gasket to complete the compliant closure. Gaskets are used in closure to secure the drum cover, or plug, to be fluids and solids tight. Since the adoption of Performance Oriented Packaging, new gasket styles, materials and profiles have entered the market to increase drum integrity and performance. Gaskets can be of different colors, shapes, and compounds, however, drum fillers must be aware that all gaskets need to be inspected prior to sealing or closing a drum. Whether it‘s the first time closed, or a repeated closure, check the gasket for any irregularities including, but not limited to: crumbling, cracking, slicing, tearing, is it properly seated into the cover groove or on top of the bead, is the bond to the metal intact, and does the gasket exhibit memory. In the event that a user should believe the gasket to be questionable, you can ask the original drum manufacturer for a replacement gasket. It is important that the replacement gasket be the same as the original gasket with which the drums were originally performance tested. Using a non-OEM gasket will invalidate the UN certification. For more information about how to properly close steel drums, check out the Skolnik Closure Videos.

Can Ice Cream be a HazMat!

July 17th, 2018 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The shipping of ice cream can be classified as a dangerous good, or hazmat for transport if it’s packed in dry ice. As a result of the dry ice, the shipment becomes a hazardous consignment as dry ice evaporates over time releasing carbon dioxide gas. Normal air is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and only 0.035% carbon dioxide. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air rises above 5%, carbon dioxide can become toxic.

By using the correct amount of dry ice it is possible to meet the stringent requirements of maintaining a specific maximum temperature within a package during its transport period. The precise amount required will depend on many factors, including; the insulating properties of the box, the mass of goods to be maintained at temperature, the starting temperature of the goods, the arrangement of the goods and dry ice within the packaging, the climatic conditions during the transport period, the length of the transport period, and the allowance made for possible delivery delays.

Most importantly, consult with your shipping agent to confirm that your dry ice shipment is compliant and safe.

The Basics of UN Drums

July 13th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN

Proper packaging is crucial, especially for dangerous goods. Using the wrong container to transport or store your goods can have a disastrous impact on your facility, community, employees and the environment. With countless manufacturers and transportation companies across the globe building and utilizing industrial containers everyday, there needed to be a level of regulation and oversight in the packaging and transportation industry. One of those levels of regulation comes from the United Nations.

For a drum to be UN approved and rated it needs to be built, tested and certified to contain liquid or solid dangerous materials. Only packages that are certified to have passed the UN packaging standard tests may be used to transport dangerous goods.

A few basics on UN drums and the regulations that surround them:

UN drums are tested against drop, stack, leak and pressure standards. UN performance standards are an internationally recognized system of ratings for solids and liquids.

All UN certified drums are marked with a code that indicates the physical nature of the product for which they are suited. This code always starts with the letters “UN” in a circle. This marking is permanent.

There are three dangerous goods packing groups. The first (packing group I) refers to UN Drums and barrels such as those manufactured by Skolnik. This packing group is built to the highest standard.

It is the shipper’s legal duty to select and fill packages correctly. It is also the shipper’s duty to ensure that packages are marked accordingly. Shipping container packers should check that packages are properly marked and, if they are not, should not transport them. But the responsibility of proper selection falls on the shipper.

Do you know what UN rating your materials need? Skolnik can help you understand the UN ratings and guide you to the packaging suited for your use. What’s more, Skolnik UN drums are built stronger and thicker than the industry standards require.

Keeping Birds Away

July 10th, 2018 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Wineries exist in every state in this Union, as do birds. Birds carry diseases and parasites, and no one wants anything dropping into their premium wines during fermentation. The solution is clear: exclude the birds and keep them from returning. The concept of Hot Foot America’s Knotless InvisiNet bird netting and complementary repellents is simple, yet brilliant, and takes advantage of a bird’s natural patterns. The virtually invisible netting excludes avian pests by preventing them from nesting. The Hot Foot Spikes create inhospitable landing areas even in curved or tight spaces, and the Hot Foot Gel creates a surface that birds don’t like and won’t return to, all without harming a feather! Their installation process starts with an assessment of the type of birds that are making your winery their home, and which locations they are frequenting. A personalized plan is then created to meet your winery’s needs, and may include one, two or all three of the repellents, depending on the spaces that are being affected. A thorough cleaning, followed by the application of an EPA registered sanitizer precedes the placement of the netting. Inspection outlets are also created to allow access for the changing of overhead lights, etc. There is no recommended maintenance, as the netting is guaranteed for ten years, with the additional labor guarantee that no bird will penetrate the netting for two years. The originally conceived Hot Foot bird netting was created back in the late 70’s by a company founded in the UK who had a long history of making high quality fishing nets. A new generation of netting was then developed in 1990, which is resistant to abrasion, has a fire retardant, and is sag resistant for the life of the net. What then keeps the birds away? Using flock mentality, each deterrent offers a possibility for birds to change their pattern. Once changed, it is unlikely for them to return. Working around the country, Hotfoot has installations under way in Virginia, Texas, California, Washington and Oregon, with crews able to head to every part of the US where wineries are located. With the ability to cover 120 square feet or 300,000 square feet, their largest installation, Hot Foot is the right choice for wineries of all sizes, and for whatever any other spaces that are subject to unwanted bird droppings.