Our ongoing improvement of drum ring closing procedure has revealed that torque value is the best criteria to determine full closure. In the past instruction, we indicated that gap-width was the primary criteria. Though all our drums are tested using both gap and torque, we believe that torque can compensate for surface friction, climate variations and metal hardness. Therefore, effective September 25th, 2006, we have revised our Closure Instructions to indicate torque to 55–60 ft./lbs. All shippers of hazardous materials are responsible for following the closure instructions that accompany all UN or DOT marked packagings. DOT requires that a container must be closed to instruction when filled prior to transport (CRF 178.2(c)). Before releasing the container into transportation, the shipper should verify the tightness of closures to determine if the effects of heating and cooling or gasket relaxation have resulted in the need to re-torque the closure. Closure instructions are NOT generic and must be current to the date of manufacture. Skolnik provides closure instructions for every product manufactured. If you need a current copy, contact customer service or go to: https://www.skolnik.com/closureinstructions092506.pdf.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for 2006
Though common knowledge, few people know why the thickness of steel diminishes as the gauge increases (ie: 16 gauge steel is thicker than 20 gauge steel). The explanation comes from the early development of a steel gauge measurement system in which the control measurement was based on a 1″ thick steel plate. The 1″ thickness of the steel was measured in diminishing fractions such as 1/14″ thick, 1/16″ thick, 1/20″ thick, and so on. The bottom number of the fraction became an easy identifier and eventually was adopted as the “gauge number.” Thus, 1/16″ became 16 gauge and 1/20″ became 20 gauge. The concept makes sense but without explanation, the converse number is often confusing. By taking the gauge number and returning it back to a fractional format, one can discover the actual nominal thickness dimension, in inches, of sheet steel.
With the wine harvest of 2006 in full swing, the demand for our stainless wine drums has reached an all time high at Skolnik. Our stainless drums are designed for winemaking in all stages of development, fermentation and maturation. Stainless steel excels in terms of product integrity, longevity and purity of materials. It‘s these properties that are making the stainless drum ideal for wineries and vineyards. Contact us if you would like more information about using these drums in your wine production facility.
While Skolnik is known worldwide for manufacturing premier containers for dangerous goods, we also are becoming known within the world of wine manufacturing. We‘ve redesigned SKOLNIK.com with a crisper, cleaner look and simplified the delivery of information about our products — including a new section on our popular wine drums. The new site offers expanded product listing options, product photographs and resources for industrial containers, wine drums and custom-made drums. You can see product specifications, technical drawings, regulatory links, FAQ’s, as well as shipping capacities, metric conversions, a glossary of industry terms, the Skolnik team and a link to the archives of the Skolnik Newsletter back to 1998. Check out www.skolnik.com and let us know if we missed adding something that you would find helpful.
On September 1st, 2006 the DOT published HM-231, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) focused on changes to packaging requirements. Of the items indicated, one of the proposals would allow for the permanent bottom UN marking of a steel drum to be different than the durable side marking. Only a few years ago, some manufacturers were applying side marks at lower test levels than the bottom marking. DOT insisted that the side and bottom markings had to be the same so they modified the CFR per the current 178.503(a)(10). HM-231 proposes to reverse this decision. Skolnik believes that the UN markings must be clearly understood by users and that, having two different marks on a single drum is very confusing and dangerous. Some manufacturers use one drum to satisfy many of their customer‘s requirements and having the same bottom and side mark requires that they change the bottom head production embossment for each order. In the case of the HM-231 proposal, a manufacturer could use the higher rated bottom head marking for a multitude of customer-required marks that are lower then the bottom marking. Confusing? If you agree, DOT is accepting responses to the NPRM.
Access to a steel drum is usually through the 2″ and ¾” top head fittings or open head cover fittings. Of the two fitting options, Tri-Sure or Rieke style, both include a threaded plug, a gasket and an inserted flange. Both design types are known throughout the world and are considered standard at Skolnik. However, the Rieke style fittings are about to undergo a mandatory design change. The new closure utilizes a low profile design that ensures safer handling and transport of products. The new design also eliminates gasket rupture, cutting, or shearing when plugs are tightened. Beginning in late September, Skolnik will be converting all Rieke-style drums to this new design. While we anticipate that this transition will be seamless to most customers, a free sample of the new design can be obtained by calling Skolnik or sending us an email request.