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

Posts Tagged ‘process drums’

What Makes Our Stainless Steel Process Drums So Stainless?

March 29th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the hero to industries that require sturdy, dependable, sanitary products to keep materials clean and safe for human consumption. It’s in our kitchens and on our dinner tables, needles are crafted out of it, as are surgical implants. At Skolnik, we produce stainless steel, crevice-free, seamless process drums, perfect for personal care and pharmaceutical products or on your food processing line.

But what is it that makes stainless steel…. stainless? Why is it good for handling food? And what is the difference between “304” and “316” type steels?

First, the science behind the steel. Steel is an attractive material in general because it’s lightweight while maintaining excellent strength. The down side to regular steel is that has a tendency to pass on a metallic taste, and more importantly, it corrodes quite easily. Exposed to any amount of moisture, steel generates iron oxide and, over time, regular steel rusts away.

The solution, however, starts with one element: chromium. The same element used in making your car wheels shiny is also the key to making stainless steel work. By smelting a steel alloy that involves at least 10.5% Chromium, the resulting metal spontaneously generates a microscopic layer of chrome oxide, an inert, self-repairing film that protects the metal below. Thus, manufacturers such as ourselves are able take advantage of the strength and durability of steel, while resisting much of the corrosion and unpleasant taste that plague many other metals. This makes it a great material for food-safe applications.

Just what qualifies for “food-safe” though? According to the FDA, “materials that are used in the construction of utensils and food contact surfaces of equipment::

  • Must not allow the migration of ‘deleterious substances or impart colors, odors, or tastes’ to food […]
  • Be ‘durable, corrosion-resistant, and nonabsorbent’ […]
  • Possess sufficient ‘weight and thickness to withstand repeated warewashing’ […]
  • Be ‘finished to have a smooth, easily cleanable surface’ [and]
  • Have resistance to ‘pitting chipping crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and decomposition’.”

With chrome oxide perpetually preventing harm, stainless steel is up for the food-safe task, which is why we use in such products as our process drums. It’s sturdiness and ability to withstand sanitation processes while resisting passing on unwanted substances makes it ideal to store food-safe products.

Now, all stainless steel is not made equal. While a major component may be chromium, there are many variations the chemical composition of the alloy, each with their advantages and disadvantages. For example, there is 18/8, named for its 18% chromium and 8% nickel composition. At Skolnik, we use types 304 and 316. 304 has the same 18% chromium, 8% nickel mix that 18/8 has, but 316 has 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% mollybdenum. While 304 is more cost effective and plenty corrosion-resistant, the addition of mollybdenum to 316 helps fight against corrosive salts, something 304 is not as good at resisting.

Which type of drum you use is going to depend on what you need them for, and we are more than happy to help you find the right fit for your project, but no matter which type you go with, if you buy from Skolnik you’ll be getting high quality, food-grade products made out of the best stainless steel that will keep you and your customers safe.

 

New Regulations For U.S. Food Supply as The Food and Safety Modernization Act goes into Effect  

October 26th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Stainless Steel

The agricultural and manufacturing world is facing big changes as the rules set forth for the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) take effect in full, after the September deadline for mandatory compliance. The new standards will affect every part of the food processing and supply chain, including containers such as stainless steel process drums. FSMA According to the FDA, it will be the “most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years” and it “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.”

Passed in 2011, companies began to abide by the act last September, after all of its rules were finalized. Now, the act’s year-long grace period is over, and the prevention-focus changes are officially the new status quo.

FSMA starts at the food facilities, including controls to evaluate hazards there, then requires the facilities to specify what steps, monitoring, and actions will be put into place to prevent them.

It then address moving the products with the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Rule, a series of new regulations on vehicles and transportation equipment, operations, training, and records for the agricultural companies. One element of the rule is that, “The design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure that it does not cause the food that it transports to become unsafe.”

Within FSMA there are a number of large, expensive adjustments that companies are making to how they operate, and it has thoroughly changed the landscape of the agricultural industry. For the first time though, the FDA will have a legislative mandate to require science-based preventive controls across the entire food supply, which seeks to reduce the frequency of foodborne diseases. Hopefully, the cost is worth the gain.

Skolnik is examining the impact of the FSMA on our products and company. At this time, our crevice-free stainless steel process drums are used extensively by our customers with exceptional demands for cleanliness.

Linings and Seamless Solutions for Process Drums

May 26th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Steel drums are the long-time favorite container for a multitude of different industries and uses. They are strong, heavy, and, in many cases, reusable because steel is stronger, heavier and more easily reconditioned than many other materials. But what about materials that react negatively with steel? What about industries that are held to incredibly stringent contamination standards? Steel drums can work for them too. Skolnik manufactures a selection of steel process drums and steel drum linings to ensure chemicals and consumables remain safely contained.

Drum Linings

Any materials that could react with bare steel must be put in a lined drum or another compatible package. Drum linings are specifically designed to safely interact with the contents and help protect both the product being contained and the steel drum itself from being compromised. They undergo their own testing before they are added to the drum to guarantee their strength and safety.

The lining most commonly used at Skolnik Industries is an epoxy/phenolic lining which is created by combining heat-cured epoxy resin with thermosetting phenolic resin. The chemical resistance these two resins create make a lining that is ideal for drums containing liquids such as food products, detergents, latex paints and/or materials with a pH range above 7.

Seamless and Crevice-Free Drums

Skolnik developed their Stainless Seamless Crevice Free Drum to provide an effective container for contents that may encourage and/or be contaminated by the growth of bacteria in the crevice of a standard steel drum. The seamless drum has no crevice — it is smooth where the body and head meet.

Skolnik’s welding engineer, quality department, and maintenance team spent nearly a whole year designing and then fine-tuning the best, most effective process for machining a truly seamless drum that met Skolnik’s high standards of quality control. We are proud to say that since 2009, Skolnik Industries’ seamless drums have supported the pharmaceutical industry, chemical industry and food-processing industry as a safe, strong and sterile process drum option.

 

As always, the Skolnik team is standing by, ready to help guide you toward the right steel process drum or container for your business, facility and/or contents.

Process Drums: When and Why To Choose Them

October 6th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The classic stainless steel drum is used in countless industries and for an immense variety of materials. Stainless steel drums are inherently suited for materials that require security or maintained purity throughout transport or storage. They are easy to sterilize, naturally resist oxidization and corrosion and are available in a variety of styles, linings and closures to better suit the job and any UN or DOT specifications.

Nearly every industry has some need for a steel drum container. For industries where materials are being stored before and after undergoing special processes, such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, or the fragrance and personal care industries, we recommend process drums. A process drum is a stainless steel container, typically manufactured as seamless and crevice-free, that offer extreme durability, purity and comply with domestic and international regulations. These drums feature a smooth, continuous, crevice-free interior and straight sides with no hoops to help prevent bacteria build up or other contaminants that may compromise the integrity of the materials being stored or transported.

Crevice-free, stainless steel process drums are ideal for meeting high sanitary standards and Skolnik process drums are thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards require, so you can be confident your food, chemical or personal care products are safely contained.