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

Posts Tagged ‘hazardous material containment’

What Are UN Packing Groups?

November 27th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Salvage Drum

All of our products here at Skolnik have been rigorously tested to meet every relevant safety standard required for each of their uses. One such regulation standard that containers such as our overpack salvage drums have is a UN marking, providing valuable information about the contents of the drums. While they can be a bit mystifying, we have resources to help answer questions about those markings, and once explained, most of these make sense. Right in the middle of the code there is, however, a letter designation that perhaps needs more elaboration: the X, Y, or Z of the UN Packing Group.

Each letter describes which of groups I, II and III the container is appropriate for. These groups identify the hazard level of the package, with each groups then representing three levels of danger: I is the highest, II is a medium hazard, and III is the lowest rating.Thus, the letter on the salvage drum establishes what level of protection the container provides and what products can be stored in them.

While this letter may be enough information for day to day operations, this leaves one last question still unaddressed: how does the UN determine what is low, medium, and high danger?

The answer to this is found in the very dry and technical Manual of Tests and Criteria, in which UN details their elaborate testing process for various types of materials. Throughout the graphs and charts, one can find that all explosives are assigned to group II. Or if handling flammable liquids, according to the manual, anything that has a flash point greater than 23 degrees Celsius but less than 60.5 degrees is in group III. There are specifications for substances liable to spontaneous combustion, and for ones that, when in contact with water, emit flammable gases. Multiple types of hazards are examined, quantified, and categorized according to how quickly they explode, burn, or corrode.

So, as it turns out, there is elaborate, methodical and thorough science behind these threat-level groups. These categorizations then go on to inform how the materials ought to be stored. While that’s a bit of a reassuring no-brainer, details such as these can easily be overlooked and taken for granted in the hustle and bustle of shipping logistics. Whether you’re trying to decide which Skolnik brand overpack salvage drum is most appropriate for your needs, or have used the same Skolnik brand overpack salvage drum for years, having a fuller appreciation of the container and its components can provide you with the confidence that you’re making the right choices in your business.

From 5 Gallons, to 30 Gallons to 110 Gallons — The Many Sizes and Uses of Skolnik Steel Drums

February 2nd, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Plants, factories and facilities in many industries use steel drums in their processes. There are numerous uses for steel drums in manufacturing plants and industries — some use steel drums for bulk storage, some for transport, some for waste collection, and more. Part of our job at Skolnik is to ensure that our customers are ordering the right size, material and gauge drum for their particular use. Which brings us to our next point — Skolnik manufactures drums that vary in size/volume from 5 gallons to 110 gallons.

How do you know what size is appropriate or efficient for your use? Well, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right drum for your unique situation, but here are a few common industries and uses for each of Skolnik’s drum sizes.

5 Gallon — The smallest barrel in the Skolnik product line, our 5 gallon drum comes in carbon steel and stainless steel. The 5 gallon stainless steel drum is most commonly used and recommended for wine making.

8 Gallon — Skolnik makes 8 gallon drums in carbon steel and stainless steel and offers salvage drums in this size. This compact drum is used in a variety of applications — from packaging cosmetics and oils, to storing hazardous materials and military munitions. Small, mighty and UN certified, the 8 gallon drum is a versatile choice for customers who require more mobility from their drums.

10 Gallon — Commercial clients have found numerous uses for the Skolnik 10 gallon drum — available in carbon steel, stainless steel, nitric, salvage drum and overpack options. Wine, dangerous goods, spill containment — the 10 gallon drum has seen it all. These drums are easy to ship or use for storage in facilities that need to be able to easily move storage drums.

15 Gallon —  Manufactured upon request, the 15 gallon drum gives our clients extra flexibility in shipping, containment and storage situations. Our engineers customize 15 gallon steel drums to meet your requirements.

20 Gallon — A convenient size for liquids and solids and less cumbersome for shipping, the Skolnik 20 gallon drum is available in carbon steel, stainless steel, seamless, process, salvage and overpack configurations. Our most popular 20 gallon drum is a salvage drum used for spill control.

30 Gallon — The 30 gallon drum is a dynamic and excellent choice for a wide range of industrial and commercial purposes. Many Skolnik clients use our 30 gallon option to package wine, syrup, pharmaceuticals and more. Small and mobile, but large enough for many shipping and packaging situations, the 30 gallon drum is Skolnik’s ‘goldilocks’ drum. A 30 gallon steel drum, whether made from carbon or stainless steel, is just right for shipping smaller product quantities, shipping more drums to multiple locations or just storing large but manageable quantities of product. Overpack, salvage, type A, seamless, process and wine drum configurations available.

40 Gallon — Manufactured upon request, Skolnik 40 gallon drums are made to your exact specifications — whether your business has commercial products or dangerous goods in need of safe packaging and shipment.

55 Gallon  — The most popular size drum, the 55 US gallon steel drum (or 45 Imperial gallon steel drum) is your best pal for most every packaging, storage and shipping situation. Dangerous goods, combustibles, munitions, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, whatever you need, our engineers can provide you with a Skolnik 55 gallon drum that is ready to serve.

85 Gallon — A bit large, 85 gallon steel drums are more useful for storage use cases than transportation. Our 85 gallon salvage drum recognized as the world product leader for disposing of hazardous materials or containing damaged or non-compliant packages.

110 Gallon — The 110 gallon steel drum is the largest standard drum manufactured by Skolnik. These drums meet all applicable UN and DOT certifications for the transportation of hazardous goods and are most commonly used in overpack and salvage drum uses.


As you can see, there are a vast range of Skolnik steel drums for a vast range of commercial and industrial uses. We don’t play favorites, but the most popular and versatile drums are likely the 30 gallon, 55 gallon and 85 gallon sizes. Contact Skolnik today to discuss your needs and request a quote. We look forward to outfitting you with the strongest, safest and most secure drum for your unique situation.

Why Use Steel for Salvage Drums?

January 23rd, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat, Salvage Drum

Salvage drums are containers designed and certified to hold other damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers. The drums are heavily regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and rightfully so — nobody wants leaking containers holding hazardous goods to be shipped across public roads. While salvage drums can legally be made of steel, polyethylene, aluminum or metal, we recommend steel salvage drums over other materials.

The reason is fairly obvious: steel is stronger.

Salvage drums and overpack salvage drums differ from ordinary overpack drums in their certification to carry and protect damaged or leaking containers. Overpacks are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used as a combination pack.

While every salvage drum must pass, at a minimum, standard UN performance requirements for drums shipping solids as well as a 3 psi air leak proof test, Skolnik steel salvage drums go above and beyond. Our salvage drums are thicker, heavier and stronger than industry and DOT standards require.

Our steel salvage drums constructed of high quality carbon steel and are rigorously tested to ensure UN and DOT compliance. Our 85 gallon salvage drums are even T-rated, meaning they have passed the UN ‘T’ test allowing it to hold liquid or solid materials. This test and rating were created to give shippers the confidence that their damaged drum will be securely contained, even if it is holding liquid.

Federal law doesn’t require shippers to use steel salvage drums. However, when considering the safety of the environment and population, steel provides a peace of mind that other materials cannot.

The fines for non-compliance are almost as brutal as the certification tests themselves. Whether out of concern for the community or for your own good standing with the DOT, safe containment and transport of dangerous goods is not an area to skimp on.

Overpack Container Regulations At-A-Glance

January 5th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Salvage Drum

An overpack drum is a type of protective packaging manufactured to contain non-hazardous or hazardous materials or provide outer protection for another container to prevent or mitigate damage. At its most basic definition, an overpack is simply a large container in which another smaller container can be placed. Overpacks can be made out of any material — such as Skolnik’s steel overpack drums. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the movement of all hazardous materials and have specific performance standards that overpack containers must meet.

Not to be confused with Salvage Drums or Salvage Overpack Drums, Overpacks are designed to protect non-leaking containers or to be used as a combination pack.

Because they are designed to provide additional protection, they are built stronger and must meet more stringent requirements than other containers.

So what are a few of those regulations?

  • Overpack containers must always have a UN marking on them that specifies the type of hazardous materials it is certified to contain.
  • An overpack will never have a liquids rating because it is designed to hold another container — a solid. Regardless of what the inner package contains, the overpack technically contains a solid.
  • The container inside an overpack must be intact — if the container is damaged, defective or leaking you must use a salvage drum.

Salvage drums, on the other hand, are certified to hold damaged, leaking or non-compliant containers and are held to even stricter regulations than overpack drums.

These are just a high level overview of the DOT’s overpack regulations. Remember that preparing hazardous materials for shipment can be complicated, and safety and compliance are key. Reserve the task of packing your hazardous materials for someone who has the appropriate DOT hazmat shipping training.

Skolnik Industries TIH (PIH) Overpack Drums range from a 20 gallon overpack to an 85 gallon overpack drum and are certified according to UN criteria and qualify as secure outer packaging. If you have any questions about using an overpack or salvage drum, don’t hesitate to ask your Skolnik representative.