1-800-441-8780

1-773-735-0700

Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

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

Posts Tagged ‘skolnik’

The Many Inventors of Modern Stainless Steel

May 2nd, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Before businesses worldwide were entrusting a Skolnik 55 gallon stainless steel drum with the shipment and storage of their most precious materials, someone had to invent stainless steel. While most people credit Harry Brearley with the discovery of stainless steel, but he was just one cog in the wheel of the invention (and definition!) of modern stainless steel.

Our journey begins in 1820 when two Englishmen, Stoddard and Farraday, and a Frenchman, Berthier, noted that iron-chromium alloys were more resistant to acids. They tried to produce higher chromium alloys to further test their discovery, but were unsuccessful.

Enter another pair of Englishmen, Woods and Clark, who in 1872 filed for the patent of an acid and weather resistant iron alloy containing 30-35% chromium and 2% tungsten. This was the first ever patent on what would, by today’s standards, be considered stainless steel. Though stainless steel was not officially defined until 1911.

The next big development, in 1875, came courtesy of another Frenchman, Brustlein. Brustlein is credited with discovering and outlining the importance of low carbon content in stainless steel – in order to create an alloy with high chromium content the carbon content must be kept lower than 0.15%. However, it wasn’t until 1895, when German scientist, Hans Goldschmidt, developed the aluminothermic reduction process for producing carbon-free chromium that the stainless steel development race truly began.

There was French scientist Leon Guillet who extensively researched iron-chromium alloys, including many of today’s models. And English Giesen who studied and published works on chromium-nickel steels while French national, Portevin, studied what is now known as 430 stainless steel.

And then, in 1911, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: German scientists P. Monnartz and W. Borschers discovered the correlation between chromium content and stainless steel’s beloved corrosion resistance. And stainless steel was finally defined.

The man often credited with the discovery of stainless steel, Harry Brearely, was a lead researcher at Brown Firth Laboratories in England. In 1912, Brearley was tasked by a small arms manufacturer with an erosion problem. Brearley set out to develop an erosion resistant steel for him, experimenting with steel alloys containing with chromium. During these experiments, specifically on August 13 1913, Brearley created a steel with 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon, arguably the first ever stainless steel.

Brearley’s title as “inventor of stainless steel” is greatly contested by a few americans, Elwood Haynes, Becket and Dantsizen, a polish man, Max Mauermann, and a few Swedes. Whoever is the true inventor, we and our clients want to thank them. If it weren’t for these hardworking metallurgists, researchers and scientists, Skolnik wouldn’t be able to provide our partners and customers with our expansive collection of stainless steel containers, including our crowned jewel, and most popular container, the 55 gallon stainless steel drum.

 

Calling All Customizations

April 15th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

The standard size, gauge and closure options for steel drum containers exist to fill a wide range of containment needs for a wide range of materials. However, our customers’ storage and transportation needs are rarely one-size-fits-all. Even with all of the standard options, it’s common for businesses to require custom drums…and commodity steel drum manufacturers are not up the customization task.

Don’t search high and low looking for a vendor that can create a steel drum container to your precise design specifications – just call Skolnik. We offer a wide inventory of standard steel drum sizes, wider than many other manufacturers. And, when our standard selection doesn’t fit the bill, our in-house engineering team relishes the chance to build a custom steel drum container.

We welcome special requests, so never hesitate to ask us for:

  • Additional or reduced height drums
  • Special interior coatings
  • Custom plug, bung or flange placement
  • A drum-within-a-drum
  • Drums tested to meet non-standard requirements
  • And virtually any other special requirement you might have!

Deeply versed in all aspects of drum manufacturing, our engineers love a good challenge or custom request. Think of the Skolnik team as your own personal steel drum container think-tank, ready to brainstorm, innovate and deliver a drum to meet your precise industrial packaging requirements.

Regulations and Secondary Spill Containment

February 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: HazMat

The transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a tricky business. There are loads of regulations from the UN, the Department of Transportation and others, and failure to meet those regulations can result in a hefty fine and property, environmental or physical damage due to a leak. Skolnik Industries takes great care to ensure that all of our drums are perfectly suited for their intended contents and meet all necessary regulations. An important and popular safety measure used for the transportation and storage of hazardous materials is a secondary containment system.

Of course, secondary containers have their own set of regulations. Here are a few of the main points of regulations surrounding secondary containment:

 

  1. Strength and durability

Your secondary containment system must be impervious and free of cracks or gaps. It’s recommended that you inspect your containment system regularly (especially if you are storing materials for an extended period of time). Any damage to the sump or the containment unit itself can lead to system failure and a leak.

Obviously, your containment system should be chemically compatible with whatever liquids might come in contact with it. Skolnik can help guide you to proper materials and containment for your contents.

  1.  Sloped or draining

Your secondary containment system must include a slope or be specifically designed to efficiently remove any liquid spilling or leaking from the primary unit inside. Primary containers cannot sit in their own waste. A popular solution to this regulation is to raise the secondary containers on grates, decking or wood pallets or adding a drain to your secondary containment unit. That way, any leaking fluid can be directed away to the sump to be collected.

  1. Capacity

According to regulations, secondary containment systems “must have sufficient capacity to contain at least 10% of the total volume of the primary containers or 100% of the volume of the largest container, whichever is greater”

That’s a lot of capacity, but also a lot of math! These are just the federal containment regulations, so make sure you work with Skolnik to ensure your containment capacity meets any state-level regulations as well.

  1. Mother Nature-resistant

Your secondary containment system must be impervious to the weather — specifically, precipitation. If any rainwater or other precipitation can get into the secondary containment system, your capacity must be sufficient enough to contain the additional volume. Remember all of that math? If you don’t want to have to add predicting the weather to your to-do list, it might be easier to just keep the weather out.

That said, any rainwater or snowmelt that enters the sump of your secondary containment is also taking up capacity in your system. Take care to implement a system that won’t overflow.

  1. Waste Removal

Any waste or precipitation that has spilled or leaked into the secondary containment area must be removed in a timely manner to prevent overflow. It’s no surprise that a huge part of a secondary containment system is maintaining the cleanliness, integrity and capacity of that system.

 

In the end, your secondary spill containment is a safety measure. In an ideal world, your primary container will remain unscathed and strong. But, in the event of a spill or leak, you want (and need) to have your bases covered. We at Skolnik are here to help make sure you always have the most effective and compliant containers for your specific materials, whether they are hazardous materials or not.

Stainless Steel: A Brief History

July 23rd, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

By definition, stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. It is stainless steel’s chromium content that differentiates it from carbon steel and provides the corrosion, rust and stain-resistant properties we have grown accustomed to for storing and shipping various materials. In the proper quantities, chromium forms a film of chromium oxide, protecting the surface and internal structure of the steel from corrosion.

The magical corrosion resistance of chromium can be traced back to 1821 when French metallurgist, Pierre Berthier, noted iron-chromium alloys resistance to some acids and suggested the alloys should be used in the construction of cutlery. Unfortunately for 19th century people and their cutlery, it was too difficult to produce the level of carbon to chromium found in today’s stainless steel. These early alloys were exciting and new, but a bit on the brittle side until the late 1890s when German chemist, Hans Goldschmidt, made his discovery. Goldschmidt developed a process for producing carbon-free chromium.

Goldschmidt’s development set several researchers down the path to alloys that, by today’s standards, would qualify as stainless steel. Year after year, more researchers and scientists developed more different high-chromium alloys and reported new properties and benefits to this ‘stain-less steel.’ It was patented, industrialized and, by the time the Great Depression hit, was being manufactured, utilized and sold en mass in the United States.

Early researchers were right to get excited by this new steel. It’s high resistance to oxidization, acids, weak bases, organics, rust and stains paired with it’s low conductivity and easy sanitation has made it an ideal material for numerous applications including, but not limited to, the containment, transport and storage of food and beverages, hazardous materials and more. At Skolnik Industries, stainless steel barrels aren’t just corrosive resistant and antibacterial, they are also made thicker and stronger than industry standards. And, because stainless steel isn’t porous or absorbent, a Skolnik stainless steel barrel may be used multiple times after proper cleaning.

I doubt Berthier knew what he had stumbled upon two centuries ago, but on behalf of Skolnik and all of our partners, we’re very grateful for the developments his curiosity set in motion.