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

Posts Tagged ‘stainless steel’

The Plastic Pollution Problem and the Stainless Steel Solution

April 16th, 2018 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News, Stainless Steel

Why is plastic such popular headline material this year? Well, because plastic pollution has finally reached a boiling point. Even with an increased awareness and consciousness of recycling, research warns that the amount of discarded plastic in just the ocean will triple in the next decade. If this warning becomes reality, in ten years there will be more plastic in our oceans than there are fish.

Sounds bleak, right? Well, the good news is that just as we’re all responsible for this issue, we can also all chip in to help. Every small change to our plastic-using habits helps, and we’ve already taken a huge first step by being more aware of the problem.

Stainless steel is considered the most reliable and safest material for industrial grade containers. Stainless steel drums, like the ones we manufacture at Skolnik, have long been a favorite for the storage and transportation of chemicals, consumables, hazardous materials and more. In recent years, plastic drums and containers entered the scene and boasted their superior lightweight and flexibility. However, there is a reason stainless steel drums are still considered the gold standard. Not only can they promise levels of durability and sanitation that porous plastic cannot, but they are also vastly more eco-friendly.

And, with plastic pollution clogging our oceans and newsfeeds, more businesses and individuals are actively trying to cut down on their plastic waste, and they are turning to stainless steel to help. In fact, the global stainless steel market is currently being driven by an increased demand for consumer goods. Consumers are picking up reusable stainless steel straws to cut back on plastic straw use, businesses are implementing stainless steel water refill stations for their employees or patrons, and more.

We hope that stainless steel products such as our stainless steel drums continue to help people cut down on plastic waste and reverse the disastrous predictions of environmental experts.

 

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.

 

Open Head vs. Tight Head Steel Drums At A Glance

July 20th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

There are numerous different configurations of an industrial container. When determining which container is appropriate for a specific use, businesses consider the container’s material, gauge or thickness of the material, size, shape, linings, closures, head style, and many more factors. Some of these factors come with a multitude of options, for head style, it is just a choice between two: open head or tight head.

So what is the difference between an open and tight head drum?

An open head container, also called 1A2 drums, has a fully removable cover secured with a Lever lock or bolt ring closure. Tight head drums, also known as closed head or 1A1 drums, have a non-removable top. One can only access the container via a 2” and ¾” plug in the top of the container.

On a tight head drum, the head is an integral part of the drum construction — both ends are flanged and permanently sealed. Because of the limited access to the contents, tight head drums are often used for liquids, especially lower viscosity liquids. For example, Skolnik’s stainless steel wine drums are tight head containers.

Open head drums, on the other hand, are used for a wide array of contents. Skolnik’s lever lock closure drums are UN rated for solids and liquids, particularly thicker liquids such as soil absorbents, syrups, glues, oils, etc. Open head drums are typically used in situations where people need access to the contents, either for frequent addition or extraction.

Skolnik Industries manufactures both open head and tight head steel drums in over 500 configurations, always to UN and DOT certification standards. If you are unsure what style head or closure your contents require, don’t hesitate to ask a Skolnik representative.

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.