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

Archive for the ‘Stainless Steel’ Category

Fifty Shades of Steel: Finishes in Stainless Steel Manufacturing

April 2nd, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an incredibly useful and versatile material for the containment of many different products. However, despite its popularity and versatility, sometimes stainless steel isn’t enough. It’s hard to believe but there are times when a customer needs more than just plain stainless steel. If you find yourself in that situation, fear not: Skolnik Industries offers finishes that can add or adjust the stainless steel’s qualities and performance in some ways…and no, unfortunately there aren’t 50 shades of finishes.

Stainless steel finishes are added to the size and gauge of steel deemed appropriate for the job by Skolnik and the customer. The finishes alter the properties of the stainless steel to create a more visually appealing look and/or to help the steel perform better for the intended use. In all cases, the finish has a positive impact on the overall condition of the drum. Think of it as a stainless steel facelift: the material underneath is the same, we’ve just enhanced it for the job.

Of all of the finishes available (again, not 50), finishes No. 2B, No. 3, and No. 4 are the most popular and often the most useful in stainless steel barrel manufacturing.

No. 2B – A mill finish that produces a matte grey appearance. 2B is highly resistant to corrosive but cannot be matched after fabrication so, while the finish is economical, it is not the most attractive color in the bunch. Over broad areas, the color may not be uniform, which, depending on your use, may deter you from choosing to use the finish.

No. 3 – Also known as “brushed.” This finish is achieved by using a git abrasive of 80-120 and produces a ground, unidirectional, uniform finish. The brushed finish simulates mechanical abrasions to leave a slightly reflective finish. If you picture the equipment in a brewery, commercial kitchen or science lab, you are probably picturing this brushed No. 3 finish.

No. 4 – Smooth as satin. This finish is achieved through a similar process as No. 3 but, by using a finer abrasive, No. 4 achieves an even smoother look often referred to as “Satin.”

While some choose to add a finish to their stainless steel barrels for cosmetic reasons, never hesitate to ask Skolnik to help you determine whether your barrel might need a finish for functional purposes. If you think you might need a finish, ask yourself what properties of pure stainless steel you need increased. Carefully consider the potential contents of a drum. Once you’ve determined your needs and/or consulted with the team at Skolnik, you can better decide which finish is the correct choice for your order.

Skolnik Industries works hard to create the perfect stainless steel barrels to fit customers’ needs, if you have any questions about which barrels you should be using and whether they require any alteration, finish or special liner, please consult our knowledgeable staff. We’ll help you get the job done right.

The Anatomy of a 55 Gallon Steel Drum

February 19th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The most ubiquitous of the steel drum family is the 55 gallon steel drum. Whether you’re watching a movie, playing a video game or just walking in the vicinity of a plant, factory or construction site, you will probably run into a 55 gallon steel drum. In fact, at Skolnik, the 55 gallon is among our most popular and top ordered products.

However, every 55 gallon steel drum you see is not created equal. Some drums are used for waste collection, some for chemical transport, some for food storage, and each drum is constructed with a specific purpose in mind. It is very important that you discern and order the right drum for the job.

The primary factors that come into play when deciding which drum your organization needs are also the primary features of any given drum: construction material, steel thickness, head type and bung threading.

Construction material

Most drums are made of either carbon steel or stainless steel. The primary utility difference between the two is stainless steel’s elevated chemical resistance. While carbon steel drums are often used to store and transport hazardous liquids, plants that utilize aggressive chemicals often favor the versatility of a stainless steel drum. Regardless of construction material, many plants choose to line their drums for added corrosion resistance.

Steel thickness

Unsurprisingly, thicker drums are recommended for shipping more hazardous liquids. The thicker the drum the more pressure and weight it can handle. The standard denotation of thickness is X/Y/Z mm – this is representative of the thickness of lid/body/base.

Open or closed head

Drums either have an open head, where the lid can be removed, or a closed or tight head, where the lid is permanently secured. Open-head drums are favored in situations where the contents need to be accessible for addition or extraction, often times solids and thicker liquids, whereas tight-head drums are the preferred choice for lower viscosity liquids.

Bung threading

If you intend to add or extract liquids from your drum via funnel or pump, you will need to know what type of bung, or top opening, is available on the lid. Bung threads are almost always National Pipe Taper, but it’s always smart to double check as you might have a Buttress threaded bung. Both types of thread are designed to create a liquid-tight seal.

 

We hope that this exploration of the anatomy of a steel drum better helps you make the right product decision for your drum’s purpose. However, never hesitate to consult with the Skolnik team on any questions or concerns you may have. We’re always happy to share our expertise on our popular 55 gallon drums or any specialty or customized drum your operation may require.

Why Food and Pharmaceuticals Love Stainless Steel Drums

January 22nd, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

These days it seems like stainless steel is everywhere: in kitchens, in bathrooms, in jewelry, it’s a very popular alloy in day to day life. Two areas stainless steel is particularly popular are in food and pharmaceutical industries. So why do foodies and pharmaceuticals love this strong steel alloy?

First, stainless steel drums have a high corrosion and impact resistance so its contents are safe from compromise in many transport or storage situations or disasters. Additionally, it’s easy to clean. Why do you think we love having stainless steel appliances in our kitchens? They are known to be nearly impenetrable to stains and any build up is incredibly easy to wipe away. The same goes for stainless steel drums. Stainless steel contains a high percentage of chromium which protects the surface of the steel by blocking oxygen and preventing any corrosive materials from penetrating the metal. Easy maintenance and cleaning is a quality particularly useful for liquid containment and food production and pharmaceutical development are liquid-heavy industries.

Sanitation is abundantly important in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Not only is stainless steel easy to clean, but all grades of stainless steel barrels offer a high level of protection and sanitation. Nothing dirty or damaging is getting into a 316 surgical stainless steel barrel and even the lower grades, such as a 409, offers its contents more protection than a standard or galvanized carbon drum.

So, fill away pharmaceutical and food producers. Stainless steel drums can take it. And, since they are so easy to clean, feel free to reuse your Skolnik stainless steel drums again and again.

Efficient and cost effective? It’s no wonder stainless steel gets a lot of love.

Fresh Wine & Steady Business on Tap

November 18th, 2014 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel, Wine

Tasting rooms and facility tours have become increasingly popular weekend or vacation activities for craft beverage enthusiasts. A pit stop at a local winery or distillery not only provides an afternoon of entertainment and libation, but a neat snapshot of the town culture and people, and an ample selection of unique gifts to bring back home.

Providing an unparalleled brand experience and saving wineries the expenses of bottling and shipping, tasting rooms have grown into a cornerstone of the winery business, accounting for nearly 30% of most wineries incomes.

In the tasting room, the winery has complete control over their customers’ experience. Passionate winemakers can interact directly with their consumers and fans, building a more personal connection between brand and buyer. If a customer doesn’t care for one wine, the staff can get their feedback and suggest a product that may better suit their tastes. With stainless steel wine barrels, wineries can tap a number of different styles, flavors and ages of wine, and even try out experimental batches without jumping through the hoops and costs of distribution and marketing. Meanwhile, visitors enjoy a diverse palate of wines, straight from the vineyard.winedrums

Tasting room visitors rarely come by just to try and not buy, and, their tasting room experience will likely influence their wine selection next time they see your product at a retailer. In today’s ever-connected society, there are countless ways to reach your customers. However, stainless steel wine barrel-fresh wine and a person-to-person interaction with your brand is pretty hard to beat.