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

Archive for the ‘Stainless Steel’ Category

The Many Inventors of Modern Stainless Steel

May 2nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Before businesses worldwide were entrusting a Skolnik 55 gallon stainless steel drum with the shipment and storage of their most precious materials, someone had to invent stainless steel. While most people credit Harry Brearley with the discovery of stainless steel, but he was just one cog in the wheel of the invention (and definition!) of modern stainless steel.

Our journey begins in 1820 when two Englishmen, Stoddard and Farraday, and a Frenchman, Berthier, noted that iron-chromium alloys were more resistant to acids. They tried to produce higher chromium alloys to further test their discovery, but were unsuccessful.

Enter another pair of Englishmen, Woods and Clark, who in 1872 filed for the patent of an acid and weather resistant iron alloy containing 30-35% chromium and 2% tungsten. This was the first ever patent on what would, by today’s standards, be considered stainless steel. Though stainless steel was not officially defined until 1911.

The next big development, in 1875, came courtesy of another Frenchman, Brustlein. Brustlein is credited with discovering and outlining the importance of low carbon content in stainless steel – in order to create an alloy with high chromium content the carbon content must be kept lower than 0.15%. However, it wasn’t until 1895, when German scientist, Hans Goldschmidt, developed the aluminothermic reduction process for producing carbon-free chromium that the stainless steel development race truly began.

There was French scientist Leon Guillet who extensively researched iron-chromium alloys, including many of today’s models. And English Giesen who studied and published works on chromium-nickel steels while French national, Portevin, studied what is now known as 430 stainless steel.

And then, in 1911, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: German scientists P. Monnartz and W. Borschers discovered the correlation between chromium content and stainless steel’s beloved corrosion resistance. And stainless steel was finally defined.

The man often credited with the discovery of stainless steel, Harry Brearely, was a lead researcher at Brown Firth Laboratories in England. In 1912, Brearley was tasked by a small arms manufacturer with an erosion problem. Brearley set out to develop an erosion resistant steel for him, experimenting with steel alloys containing with chromium. During these experiments, specifically on August 13 1913, Brearley created a steel with 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon, arguably the first ever stainless steel.

Brearley’s title as “inventor of stainless steel” is greatly contested by a few americans, Elwood Haynes, Becket and Dantsizen, a polish man, Max Mauermann, and a few Swedes. Whoever is the true inventor, we and our clients want to thank them. If it weren’t for these hardworking metallurgists, researchers and scientists, Skolnik wouldn’t be able to provide our partners and customers with our expansive collection of stainless steel containers, including our crowned jewel, and most popular container, the 55 gallon stainless steel drum.

 

Small, Mighty & Handy: The 30 Gallon Stainless Steel Drum

February 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The 30 gallon drum is a perfect size for a lot of things, but the obvious is just that: it’s size. Not everything or everyone requires a 55 gallon drum. When you have a smaller quantity of materials or a tighter storage space, the 30 gallon drum is the perfect fit.

Only 30 inches tall, the 30 gallon drum is stackable and able to squeeze into small spaces safely and securely. It’s compact nature makes it especially appealing to air travel because the drum can be safely secured in a separate cabin. It’s also an ideal size container to use for next-day shipping because it’s small size is easier to handle in transit, can fit in most trucks, planes and transit vans. Not to mention it is the more economical choice for the shipper.

Small and mighty, our 30 gallon drums are composed of the same stainless steel as our larger sized drums and can be manufactured at whatever gauge your materials and use requires.

The Powerful Properties of Stainless Steel

January 21st, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

 

At Skolnik Industries, we offer a variety of stainless steel drums; in different sizes, with different closures and linings and tailored for our customers’ unique needs. Why do we offer so many different customizations of stainless steel drums? Because it’s a material greatly suited for many different uses.

By definition, stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Now, we’ve talked about the unique chromium composition of stainless steel in the past, but what properties make stainless steel the powerful material it is today?

Oxidization Resistance

Chromium forms a passive protective layer when exposed to oxygen. This layer is invisible to the naked eye, but protects the metal from damage from water and air and even a degree of corrosion. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the oxidation resistance.

Acid Resistance

Stainless steel is highly resistant to acids. Obviously, this depends on the concentration of the acid and a few other variables such as the environmental temperature and the grade of stainless steel, but the natural resistance of stainless steel to acid attacks make it a strong candidate for the transport of hazardous materials.

Base Resistance

Many grades of stainless steel (the entire 300 series) are unaffected by weak bases, no matter the temperature or concentration.

Organic Resistance

Under the right conditions, specific grades of stainless steel are useful for storing and handling organics such as acetic acid, aldehydes and amines, cellulose acetate, and fats and fatty acids.

Low conductivity and magnetism

Like it’s brother, steel, stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity and only very specific stainless steels are magnetic.
So there you have it, the primary properties of stainless steel are a recipe for a diverse array of possible uses. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular materials in a number of industries and one of the most common materials for Skolnik drums.

Science Vs. Steel

January 11th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Stainless Steel

The 55 gallon industrial steel drum is the workhorse of our drum lineup. It’s the Goldilocks special: not to small, not to big, and just right for a lot of common containment needs. At Skolnik, we take great measures to ensure all of our drums are safe, strong, reliable and meet the necessary UN and DOT requirements. We work with our clients to make sure that the Skolnik drums they receive have the correct treatment, lining and closures for their particular use. Essentially, we want our drums to maintain their integrity to ensure they can work hard and last long.

 

That said, we appreciate the occasional science experiment, and who doesn’t like to watch YouTube videos of things getting smashed or destroyed (When you have a chance, we highly recommend watching this front load washer carnage.

 

A group of students put physics to the test and attempted to crush a 55 gallon steel drum on their school’s front lawn. Their destruction weapon of choice: air pressure.

 

Spoiler alert: they succeeded.

It wasn’t the first time someone has crushed a 55 gallon steel drum with air pressure, it wasn’t even the first time someone recorded it and posted it on YouTube, but it is still a fun and enlightening physics experiment.

 

As steel drum manufacturers, we have to admit that watching a beautiful barrel be destroyed hurt our hearts a little. We never claim our products are indestructible, not even our workhorse, the 55 gallon steel drum. What we do promise is that our team will work with you to discover and manufacture the best container or transport vessel for your needs and that a Skolnik container is guaranteed to get the job done safely, reliably and meet all necessary requirements.