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

Posts Tagged ‘barrel transport’

Unpacking UN Ratings: The 1A2 Drum

September 22nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

The shipping and transportation of dangerous goods or hazardous materials is a tightly regulated process — and rightly so! You wouldn’t want to be on an aircraft or train or sharing the roads with just any old material packaged any old way. These materials require a special container that meets criteria set by the DOT and the UN. And, it is the responsibility of the shipper to choose the correct packaging for their materials.

At Skolnik Industries, we’re always happy to help our customers select the best container for their needs. To start, let’s take a look at UN ratings and what they mean.

Many of our products UN rating begins with a 1A, we’ll talk about why that is in a moment, but for the sake of this exploration let’s say that you worked with the team at Skolnik and we discerned that you need a container with a 1A2/X60/S UN rating for your hazardous materials.

First, you’re in luck, Skolnik has several hazardous waste containers that fit that specification.

But what do those numbers mean?

 

Well, the 1 refers to the fact that it is a drum, not a wooden barrel, box, bag or some other type of container.

Here are the UN codes for other containers:

1 – drum

2 – wooden barrel

3 – jerrican

4 – box

5 – bag

6 – composite receptacle

7 – pressure receptacle

 

The following letter tells us the material of the container, in this case an A for steel.

Other material codes:

A – steel

B – aluminum

C – natural wood

D – plywood

E – reconstituted wood

G – fiberboard

H – plastic

L – textile

M – paper, multiwall

N – metal other than steel or aluminum

P – glass, porcelain or stoneware

 

So far we’ve determined that we need a steel drum, our specialty! But what about the second number? This number refers to the drum head. The 2 means that it is an open head drum. (A closed-head drum would be marked with a 1).

We’ve cracked the first part of the code: we need a 1A2 container, or a steel, open head drum!

If you want to dig deeper, our example UN rating was 1A2/X60/S – so what are the other parts?

 

The X designation tells us what level of hazardous materials your packaging can be used for. The rating is either an X, Y or Z. Packing group I is the most hazardous and packing group III is the least.

X – covers hazardous packing group I, II or III

Y – covers packing groups II and III only

Z – covers packing group III only

What a versatile drum we’ve chosen!

 

That next number refers to the maximum gross mass the container has been tested to handle, in our example 60kg. The final S indicates that this is the UN rating for solids for this container (Liquids ratings differ in that they communicate the maximum specific gravity of liquid that the container has been tested to hold instead of mass, liquid ratings also indicate the maximum hydrostatic pressure the container can hold).
So there you have it, when we say you need a 1A2 drum, that means it is a steel, open head drum – the remaining code elements tell you what your container is safe to carry.

A Brief Look at U.N. and DOT Hazmat Packaging Classes & Codes

March 31st, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Skolnik drums are built thicker, stronger and heavier to exceed industry standards and ensure an unrivaled level of quality and U.N. packaging compliance. Laws and regulations governing the use, handling, shipping and storage of hazardous materials differ depending on the intended transport or activity of the material and the material itself. It can be a lot to keep track of, but at Skolnik, we keep a steady hand on the pulse of DOT and UN Packaging regulations so our customers can rest assured that their containers are compliant and their materials, facilities and staff are safe.

DOT and UN regulations are particularly stringent when it comes to hazardous materials. The term hazardous material, or hazmat, is used almost exclusively in the United States. Internationally, these materials are known as “dangerous goods.” Dangerous goods are any solid, liquid or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, property or the environment.

There are numerous organizations tasked with governing the use, storage and, especially, the transportation of dangerous goods. Some of the most widely applied and adhered to regulations come from The Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods of the UN Economic and Social Council and the appropriate regional or international transportation agency (e.g. the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization and/or our very own U.S. Department of Transportation).

The U.S. DOT follows the UN regulation model, dividing dangerous goods into nine classes, sub divisions and requiring such materials to be properly labeled and transported in specific packaging. The major UN hazard classes are as follows:

  • Explosives

  • Gases

  • Flammable Liquids

  • Flammable Solids

  • Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides

  • Toxic Materials and Infectious Substances

  • Radioactive Materials

  • Corrosives

  • Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods

Trailers and transport containers are usually marked with a four digit UN code number indicating the nature of their contents to any first responders in case of emergency. Not all countries use precisely the same label and coding protocol in their national regulations, so it is important to refer to the Dangerous Goods Transportation Regulations of the country of interest to ensure your materials are properly labeled and packaged. At Skolnik, UN packaging and compliance is always a top priority. You can be confident that if it is a Skolnik barrel, it will meet all necessary DOT and UN regulations and then some.

Food Grade Containers: Steel vs. Plastic

March 18th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Food grade drums and containers come in a myriad of different shapes, sizes and materials, but at Skolnik Industries, we stick to steel. Food grade drums are commonly used for the transportation and storage of ingredients, wine and other consumables. While plastic food grade containers do exist, all of Skolnik’s food grade and wine barrels are all made with food grade 304 stainless steel for superior cleanliness and food safety.

Stainless steel, or food safe carbon steel with a special lining if you’re on a tight budget, is sleek and smooth whereas plastic is porous. The very texture of plastic opens the door for bacteria and other baddies to contaminate your goods, especially if you intend to use the barrels more than once. Because of its porous texture, plastic is harder to clean and sanitize between uses. It’s be incredibly easy for some left overs from Drum Use A to make it’s way into the contents of Drum Use B. That doesn’t sound good and probably won’t taste too good either.

Food grade steel is as easier to clean and sanitize than plastic, and is food-safe from top to bottom. The seams, fitting and closure all meet any necessary food grade requirements in order to ensure both your goods and the consumer is protected.

Another area steel bests plastic is in strength and durability. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that steel is stronger than plastic, but this benefit is very important in the transportation and storage of food items. The goal of food-grade containers is to keep the materials or products they are carrying safe and secure, if the container suffers damage, the product could suffer damage and if the product suffers damage, the consumer could suffer damage. Not to mention that plastic barrels are very difficult to handle if they get wet or oily. We’d liken it to trying to handle a greasy watermelon.

Almost every food, drink or snack item you ingest was at one point stored, cured or transported in a food-grade container. Skolnik steel food-grade drums are sturdy, UN and DOT certified as necessary, and easy for manufacturers to clean and reuse, all while ensuring that those consumable items remain safe for you to enjoy.

Trust the Strength of Steel for Hazmat Transport

March 8th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

There are a lot of requirements and questions that go into choosing the correct drum or container for the job, and that goes double for choosing the correct drum or container for the shipping and transportation of hazardous materials. The first of those questions is “what material container do I need?” If your container needs to travel by plane, train, or automobile (or ships too!) Skolnik’s steel hazmat drums are your friend.

Think about it this way, airplanes, ships, freight trains, and trucks are made of metal. They are specifically engineered to withstand the pressure put on them by increased altitude and turbulence, the raucous waves and long journeys. You’d be rightfully hesitant to board a plastic aircraft. So why would you trust a plastic or fiber container to safely contain hazardous materials at 39,000 feet? Or a plastic container knocking about in the middle of the ocean? Or hitting potholes on the road? Skolnik steel hazmat containers are specifically engineered to withstand the pressure and variables of air, sea and land travel. Whether you are transporting hazardous liquids, solids or gels, steel is strong, durable and equipped for the job.

The UN and DOT have strict regulations when it comes to the safety and construction of aircrafts, ships and vehicles, it is no wonder they have strict regulations when it comes to the transportation and shipment of hazardous materials via those vessels. All Skolnik steel drums under-go rigorous UN and DOT testing for their intended uses. You can trust a steel hazmat drum from Skolnik to meet, or even exceed, any imposed agency standards and carry your materials safely and securely from point A to point B.