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

Archive for September, 2020

Choose Your Container: 55 Gallon Tight Head Drum

September 25th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

At Skolnik, we provide our customers with a full range of extra strong, thick and heavy steel drums in a variety of sizes and configurations to serve different materials and industries. While the 55 gallon drum is our most popular size container, we offer so many different customization options that we couldn’t say exactly what configuration drum is the most popular across industries.

One of those configuration choices is the type of ‘head.’ There are two options here: tight head or open head.

A 55 gallon tight head drum is a 55 gallon drum with no removable lid. Both ends are seamed and you can only access the contents through the fittings — a tight fit. Tight head drums are also known as a closed head or 1A1 drum. The plug in the top of the container is 2” and ¾”.

A 55 gallon open head steel drum, on the other hand, is a 55 gallon drum with a fully seamed bottom, but a removable cover. 

In the case of 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. Skolnik’s stainless steel wine drums, for example, are tight head containers. And yes, they come in the 55gallon size.

Skolnik Industries manufactures both open and tight head steel drums in over 500 configurations, from 5 gallon to 110 gallon sizes and always to UN and DOT certification standards.

A New Dangerous Goods Resource for Everything!

September 22nd, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

In mid August, Labelmaster launched their new DG Exchange. The DG Exchange is an online community where any DG and supply chain business professionals can share ideas, learn and collaborate to understand and better navigate dangerous goods issues, challenges and trends. Have a question about new shipping regulations? Need help transporting lithium batteries safely? Struggling to improve compliance within your supply chain? Finding solutions to those questions through information sharing and peer support is exactly why the DG Exchange has been created. Furthermore, the DG Exchange is an online community where any DG and supply chain business professionals can share ideas, learn and collaborate to understand and better navigate dangerous goods issues, challenges and trends.

Whether your organization ships dangerous goods daily or a few packages a year, the DG Exchange is a place where professionals at all levels of an organization can come to better understand the complex world of dangerous goods and gain valuable information, insights and connections that will enable them to enhance business performance, improve operations, drive revenue and more.

Not only is it the dangerous goods industry’s first digital community, it’s also the new home for the DG Symposium, so you’ll find all of this year’s planned Symposium content in a new, virtual space.

Register now for the DG Exchange atwww.dgexchange.com

A Pinot (Film) Noir

September 15th, 2020 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Burgundy has become the site for some of the most harrowing tales in wine cinema. A devastating frost wipes out a vintage. An international supervillain stages an elaborate fraud. But few match the potential Pinot (film) Noir intrigue of “Shadows in the Vineyard”, a true wine drama of threatened vine sabotage and a high-stakes ransom on perhaps the most hallowed ground in wine: the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC). Earlier this month, the film company, Landmark Studio Group announced that production would soon begin on a story that will strike fear in the heart of any Burgundy lover.

Adapting Maximillian Potter&rsqo;s book of the same name, the limited TV series “Shadows in the Vineyard” will dramatize the 2010 exploitation case that rocked the iconic estate and all of Burgundy. In January of that year, co-owner Aubert de Villaine received anonymous letters threatening to poison and destroy DRC‘s acclaimed, incalculably valuable vineyard, the Romanée-Conti grand cru monopole, unless a $1.2 million ransom was paid.

Writing in Wine Spectator’s “Unfiltered” blog, Colin Dreizen reports that: “The 2015 book ‘Shadows in the Vineyard,’ provides the foundation for the series. Noah Wyle and Judith Light have signed on to co-star. What followed was a saga unfolding in the usually quiet Côte d’Or.” “Max’s story is many things,” co-producer David Ozer of Landmark Studio told Unfiltered via email. “It is a mystery, a love letter to Burgundy. But I think what the creative team loves is the fact that it is a story of hope—of light triumphing in the face of darkness.” The producers also indicated the story will explore the writer Potter’s own transformative experiences, and a new appreciation for wine, gained during his time in Burgundy researching the book. “Production is planned to start in early 2021. While specific locations have not been decided yet, the producers would ideally film in real-life Burgundy”, Dreizen writes, Potter will be revisiting the story as a co-writer of the screenplay, and his team hopes to involve DRC and Burgundy locals as much as they can. “What the people of Burgundy went through during this event was a real trauma, in many ways,” Ozer said. “We want to respect that.”

But it wouldn’t be much of a wine drama without, well, wine. Wine will be central to “Shadows in the Vineyard”; and the team will be turning to expert wine consultants to get every element right. “We think that this is an incredibly complex, multifaceted story and, like a wonderful grand cru, there is so much to savor here,” Ozer stated. “It needs time to breathe, so as to allow all of these intricate elements to be fully realized.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, there’s no drama with our Stainless Steel Wine Barrels. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums.

Is 304 Stainless Steel FDA Approved?

September 11th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

For a stainless steel to be considered ‘food grade’ and to come in contact with food stuffs it must be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory bodies. To be approved as foodsafe, stainless steel must have a minimum chromium content of 16%. The chromium content is what helps protect stainless steel from rust and corrosion. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a sort of film or coating of chromium oxide, which blocks oxygen diffusion and therefore corrosion to the steel’s surface and from spreading to the steel’s internal structure. 

Stainless steel with a chromium content of less than 16% may be used for other food uses, such as cutlery and blades, but is not safe for prolonged food contact such as food grade stainless steel containers. 

304 stainless steel (also known as SAE 304 SS, A2 Stainless or 18/8 stainless) is the most popular austenitic crystalline steel. It has a chromium-nickel alloy which gives it the best corrosion resistance out of the food grade steel families. 

The 304 stainless steel is particularly strong and popular due to its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. a austenitic crystalline structure, chromium-nickel alloy. You read that right. Eighteen percent chromium. That’s above the FDA minimum of 16% chromium, so yes, 304 Stainless Steel is FDA approved. 

It is also American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and National Science Foundation (NSF) approved for food contact, as they have the same minimum chromium content.

The Labor That Keep Our Communities and Families Safe

September 8th, 2020 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: HazMat, Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

As we go about our daily lives, each of us has numerous unknown encounters with dangerous goods (hazardous materials) without incident. These encounters are safe because those goods are safely packaged, transported, stored and used, thanks to the hard work of dangerous goods professionals (DG) around the world whose efforts often go unnoticed.

On August 4, 2020, in Beruit, Lebanon, 2,750 tons of ammonia nitrate exploded, killing at least 220 people, injuring more than 5,000, and leaving over 300,000 homeless. The blast is the largest accidental ammonia nitrate explosion ever recorded. At least ten times over the past six years, Lebanese security agencies and judiciary sounded the alarm bell that a massive amount of explosive chemicals were being unsafely stockpiled at the port in the heart of Beirut. Even with all these warnings of an impending disaster, nothing was done, and sadly, a tragedy occurred.

Manufactured in beads that resemble cooking salt, ammonia nitrate is generally safe to handle and is used in numerous ways, such as in fertilizer for agriculture. But storing and transporting it can be problematic. When exposed to high heat and other fuel sources, ammonia nitrate can become explosive. This is why in many countries there are strict rules governing its storage and transportation. For example, many European Union nations require calcium carbonate be added to it, creating calcium ammonium nitrate, which is safer. In the United States, regulations were tightened after two tons of ammonia nitrate were used to create the bomb in the 1995 Oklahoma City federal building attack that killed 168 people; now, under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, facilities that store 2,000lbs of ammonia nitrate are subject to inspection.

In my nearly 30 years of work in the dangerous goods community, I have sat through countless meetings, presentations, and hearings discussing the finer points of performance-oriented packaging testing or the proper paperwork and labeling for a shipment of radioactive material. I have had numerous conversations late into the night about the shipment of oxygen cylinders on airplanes. And if you really want to jumpstart a heated discussion, bring up the illegal shipment of counterfeit lithium batteries. The one thing all of these encounters have had in common is the untold number of DG professionals who have dedicated their careers to keeping people and the environment safe.

Not many of us actually set out to have a career in this field, but once we are introduced to it, it becomes a life long passion. Ranging from government regulators, fire department chiefs, trade association members, and dangerous goods managers at companies around the globe, these DG professionals are truly dedicated to keeping us safe from disasters like the one that took place in Lebanon.

As I write this, it is Labor Day weekend in the United States. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the DG community for your work–labor that keeps our communities and families safe.