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

Posts Tagged ‘overpack drums’

The Importance of Clarity: Overpack Drums vs. Salvage Drums

August 1st, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, Salvage Drum

We can’t overstate how important it is for everyone involved in the shipment or storage of materials to understand the requirements of the situation and materials. In our line of work, part of that is knowing the right drums are used when shipping materials in order to comply with safety standards. These safety standards are important for keeping people safe, but also for avoiding the penalties that come with using defective drums, or the wrong class of drum entirely.

In the past, there has been confusion among manufacturers, customers, and shippers about the difference between Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums. Due to a lack of clarity, and a industry wide game of telephone, Overpack Drums and Salvage Drums were thought of as the same exact products for a while. This, of course, leads to a whole array of problems. First of all, if you were to use an Overpack Drum to do the job of a Salvage Drum, your materials would not be secure. Second, that particular load would certainly not meet DOT or UN standards.

As you would guess, there is a marked difference between Salvage and Overpack. A difference that, while we are sure most everyone in this industry knows, bears repeating — which is why we revisit this topic regularly. Overpack drums are used to hold packages or materials that are still properly sealed and meet safety and shipping regulations on their own, and the drum is used to consolidate materials. Think of them as a second layer of protection, or a handy way to transport multi-pack items. Salvage drums are used to hold leaking, damaged or otherwise compromised and non-compliant packages.

Clarifying every detail of your materials or shipment is important to everyone involved. There are a laundry list of important regulations that protect us, and the environment, but without clarity and strong communication about standards and norms, it is incredibly difficult to follow them and maintain good, safe and compliant business practices.

 

Using Lasers to Examine Overpack Drums

January 26th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Cool Stuff, HazMat

Overpack drums are used to contain a wide variety of hazards, from harsh chemicals to combustible materials. One of the more dramatic uses of these drums is to store spent nuclear fuel.

The fuel rods are confined in a welded stainless steel canister that is shielded and protected by a concrete and steel overpack drum, then placed into storage. While this may be the best solution we have right now for our nuclear waste, this process requires regular maintenance and examination to ensure safety. These storage casks need to be frequently inspected for degradation such as stress corrosion cracking. Unsurprisingly, inspecting hundreds of tightly packed irradiated barrels is not the safest task for a human to undertake.

That’s where the lasers come in.

By utilizing laser ultrasonics, a fancy method of shooting pulse lasers at an object, researchers have combined that process with fiber optics and a very specially-developed lens, integrating it into a robot system. That way, their compact set up can provide a clear, nondestructive inspection of the degradation happening to each barrel, specifically pitting. What that all means is that inspectors will have tools that can operate in the harsh, confined and hazardous spaces that are generated situations such as nuclear waste storage, piloting the robot from a safe distance.

This technology can be applied further than merely overpack drums. It’s suited for any environment that is cramped, high temperature, highly irradiated; anywhere that’s unsafe for humans. In particular, the system is great for inspecting defects in pipelines exposed to high temperatures and radiation inside nuclear power plants and inspection of inaccessible, cramped and hazardous areas for preventive maintenance.

Lasers and nuclear waste? Sounds like a dystopian sci-fi plot, but it is very much a current scenario. At this point, research is still ongoing to perfect the system, and it’s unclear how close they are to becoming commercially available tools. As long as we continue to store waste in the current, overpack method, the importance of technology to reduce the risk of hazard will only become more critical as time goes on.

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.

When to Use an Overpack Drum?

July 13th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Safety, Salvage Drum

An Overpack is an enclosure used to provide protection or convenience in handling a package, or to consolidate two or more packages. Overpacks are not the same as Salvage Drums and are only meant for non-leaking packages. If an Overpack drum is sold as a Salvage Drum, the DOT will hold the manufacturer and distributor liable and both parties could face a fine. The DOT does, however, expect a level of knowledge from the shipper and can hold them liable if they do not meet the proper requirements or misuse a drum.

So when should you use an Overpack Drum?

According to UN criteria and standards, Overpack Drums are certified as secure outer packaging. They are tested for solids and should not be used if the integrity of the inner package has been compromised.

An Overpack can be simply defined as a larger container into which a smaller one may be placed. An Overpack can be made of any material, the traditional choice being a 55 gallon metal drum. Overpack Drums come with their own set of UN and DOT requirements, but passing leak and pressure tests are not always among them. More often than not, Overpacks are used to facilitate the handling of another package or two. Skolnik, however, does pressure test Overpack Drums. Our Stainless steel Overpack Drums have each been tested at 1A2/X plus 15 psi hydrostatic pressure per CFR 49 for the over-packing of Toxic (Poisonous) by Inhalation packaging. But despite this rigorous testing and the fact that Skolnik products are made thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards require, the DOT would still not consider our Overpack Drums as Salvage Drums.

But fear not, if it is a Salvage Drum you need, Skolnik can still help. Both our Overpack and Salvage Drum lines come in a variety of capacities, meet domestic and international regulations and offer extreme durability.