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

Posts Tagged ‘stainless steel’

The Powerful Properties of Stainless Steel

January 21st, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

 

At Skolnik Industries, we offer a variety of stainless steel drums; in different sizes, with different closures and linings and tailored for our customers’ unique needs. Why do we offer so many different customizations of stainless steel drums? Because it’s a material greatly suited for many different uses.

By definition, stainless steel is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Now, we’ve talked about the unique chromium composition of stainless steel in the past, but what properties make stainless steel the powerful material it is today?

Oxidization Resistance

Chromium forms a passive protective layer when exposed to oxygen. This layer is invisible to the naked eye, but protects the metal from damage from water and air and even a degree of corrosion. The higher the chromium content, the stronger the oxidation resistance.

Acid Resistance

Stainless steel is highly resistant to acids. Obviously, this depends on the concentration of the acid and a few other variables such as the environmental temperature and the grade of stainless steel, but the natural resistance of stainless steel to acid attacks make it a strong candidate for the transport of hazardous materials.

Base Resistance

Many grades of stainless steel (the entire 300 series) are unaffected by weak bases, no matter the temperature or concentration.

Organic Resistance

Under the right conditions, specific grades of stainless steel are useful for storing and handling organics such as acetic acid, aldehydes and amines, cellulose acetate, and fats and fatty acids.

Low conductivity and magnetism

Like it’s brother, steel, stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity and only very specific stainless steels are magnetic.
So there you have it, the primary properties of stainless steel are a recipe for a diverse array of possible uses. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular materials in a number of industries and one of the most common materials for Skolnik drums.

Science Vs. Steel

January 11th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Stainless Steel

The 55 gallon industrial steel drum is the workhorse of our drum lineup. It’s the Goldilocks special: not to small, not to big, and just right for a lot of common containment needs. At Skolnik, we take great measures to ensure all of our drums are safe, strong, reliable and meet the necessary UN and DOT requirements. We work with our clients to make sure that the Skolnik drums they receive have the correct treatment, lining and closures for their particular use. Essentially, we want our drums to maintain their integrity to ensure they can work hard and last long.

 

That said, we appreciate the occasional science experiment, and who doesn’t like to watch YouTube videos of things getting smashed or destroyed (When you have a chance, we highly recommend watching this front load washer carnage.

 

A group of students put physics to the test and attempted to crush a 55 gallon steel drum on their school’s front lawn. Their destruction weapon of choice: air pressure.

 

Spoiler alert: they succeeded.

It wasn’t the first time someone has crushed a 55 gallon steel drum with air pressure, it wasn’t even the first time someone recorded it and posted it on YouTube, but it is still a fun and enlightening physics experiment.

 

As steel drum manufacturers, we have to admit that watching a beautiful barrel be destroyed hurt our hearts a little. We never claim our products are indestructible, not even our workhorse, the 55 gallon steel drum. What we do promise is that our team will work with you to discover and manufacture the best container or transport vessel for your needs and that a Skolnik container is guaranteed to get the job done safely, reliably and meet all necessary requirements.

Stainless Steel in History — ‘Good for Table Cutlery’

October 12th, 2015 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel as we know it today owes one of its most valuable characteristics, a resistance to corrosion, to a combination of low carbon and high chromium. That characteristic was noted for the first time in 1821 by French metallurgist Pierre Berthier. But in 1821, metallurgists’ celebration of this finding was short-sighted.

Even a near century later, the full potential of this non-corrosive metal was still not on the horizon. “Especially Good for Table Cutlery,” reads the subtitle of the 1915 New York Times article boasting the benefits of this fabulous new discovery. The article calls this newfangled metal stainless steel and goes on to detail how easy it is to clean. “This steel is said to be especially adaptable for table cutlery,” the article reads “as the original polish is maintained after use, even when brought in contact with the most acid[ic] foods, and it requires only ordinary washing to cleanse.”

According to the article, this non-rusting steel was nearly double the price of steel ordinarily used for dining cutlery. But fear not, because the non-credited author of this New York Times announcement makes the case that the stainless steel is worth the extra cost in time saved laboring over the dishes.

At Skolnik, we too appreciate stainless steel’s resistance to oxidization and corrosion, but we wouldn’t dare limit such a fantastic material to the dinner table — not when it holds such potential for containment.

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.