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

Dimensions of a 55 Gallon Steel Drum

June 5th, 2014 by Lisa Stojanovich

Filed under: Industry News

The 55 US gallon steel drum is an industry standard. Internationally, it is also known as a 208 litre drum. The size is commonly used for storing and transporting a wide array of contents, and its use spans across countless industries.  The container’s large range of utility and long history makes it one of the most recognizable steel drums.  Its shape and size are easy to identify.

The average Skolnik 55 US gallon open head drum is 34.70 inches in height with a diameter of 20.50 inches.  The drum has a round chimes and 3 hoops.  The first hoop is placed 3 inches from the top curl while the other 2 hoops are centered on the drum.  Open head 55 gallon drums also require a cover gasket and either a lever lock or bolt ring closure mechanism.  These parts come together to make the popular Skolnik 55 gallon open head steel drum.  A 55 gallon tight head drum is slightly different in that it does not require a closure ring mechanism or a cover gasket, the interior is accessed via 2” and ¾” fittings in the top head of the drum.  A tight head drum is slightly taller than an open head at roughly 35.25 inches in height, but features an identical diameter.  This tight head 55 gallon drum features 2 hoops on the center and a round chime.

Although these are the basic dimensions of the Skolnik 55 gallon steel drum there is room for special configurations.  For a UN certified drum changes can be made to the cover fittings, paint, labels or the addition of poly inserts.  These alterations can be made to the drum while still meeting the regulations for a UN certified drum.  If a drum, however, does not need to meet the UN certifications larger changes and drum customization can occur.  While things like paint, inserts, and cover fittings can still be changed, alterations to body fittings, closure mechanisms, and even the steel gauge combination are all possible ways to create a 55 gallon drum suited for very specific needs.  While a standard 55 gallon drum seems like a pretty specific item, Skolnik Industries prides itself on our ability to customize a container to fit unique needs while still creating a safe and strong product.

The 55 gallon steel drum is a useful and necessary product for a lot of companies.  It is used all over the world to store and transport materials and can be found in almost any industry.  This commonly used container, when made properly, can safely and securely store a wide range of contents.  With the proper manufacturing, 55 gallon drums can be used for food substances or hazardous materials and anything in between.

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