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

Posts Tagged ‘stainless steel’

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.

Food Grade Containers: Steel vs. Plastic

March 18th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Food grade drums and containers come in a myriad of different shapes, sizes and materials, but at Skolnik Industries, we stick to steel. Food grade drums are commonly used for the transportation and storage of ingredients, wine and other consumables. While plastic food grade containers do exist, all of Skolnik’s food grade and wine barrels are all made with food grade 304 stainless steel for superior cleanliness and food safety.

Stainless steel, or food safe carbon steel with a special lining if you’re on a tight budget, is sleek and smooth whereas plastic is porous. The very texture of plastic opens the door for bacteria and other baddies to contaminate your goods, especially if you intend to use the barrels more than once. Because of its porous texture, plastic is harder to clean and sanitize between uses. It’s be incredibly easy for some left overs from Drum Use A to make it’s way into the contents of Drum Use B. That doesn’t sound good and probably won’t taste too good either.

Food grade steel is as easier to clean and sanitize than plastic, and is food-safe from top to bottom. The seams, fitting and closure all meet any necessary food grade requirements in order to ensure both your goods and the consumer is protected.

Another area steel bests plastic is in strength and durability. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that steel is stronger than plastic, but this benefit is very important in the transportation and storage of food items. The goal of food-grade containers is to keep the materials or products they are carrying safe and secure, if the container suffers damage, the product could suffer damage and if the product suffers damage, the consumer could suffer damage. Not to mention that plastic barrels are very difficult to handle if they get wet or oily. We’d liken it to trying to handle a greasy watermelon.

Almost every food, drink or snack item you ingest was at one point stored, cured or transported in a food-grade container. Skolnik steel food-grade drums are sturdy, UN and DOT certified as necessary, and easy for manufacturers to clean and reuse, all while ensuring that those consumable items remain safe for you to enjoy.

Small, Mighty & Handy: The 30 Gallon Stainless Steel Drum

February 4th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Stainless Steel

The 30 gallon drum is a perfect size for a lot of things, but the obvious is just that: it’s size. Not everything or everyone requires a 55 gallon drum. When you have a smaller quantity of materials or a tighter storage space, the 30 gallon drum is the perfect fit.

Only 30 inches tall, the 30 gallon drum is stackable and able to squeeze into small spaces safely and securely. It’s compact nature makes it especially appealing to air travel because the drum can be safely secured in a separate cabin. It’s also an ideal size container to use for next-day shipping because it’s small size is easier to handle in transit, can fit in most trucks, planes and transit vans. Not to mention it is the more economical choice for the shipper.

Small and mighty, our 30 gallon drums are composed of the same stainless steel as our larger sized drums and can be manufactured at whatever gauge your materials and use requires.