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.