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

Archive for 2021

CVSA Reports Results of Unannounced Hazmat Inspections

December 28th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance reported the results of over 13,000 roadside inspections of vehicles transporting hazardous materials in the U.S., Canada and Mexico during the Alliance’s unannounced Hazmat Road Blitz June 21-25, 2021. Approximately 4 million commercial motor vehicle inspections are conducted every year throughout North America to ensure the large trucks and buses driving on our roadways are operating safely. Specially trained inspectors in each state, jurisdiction, territory and province inspect commercial motor vehicles based on inspection procedures and criteria created by CVSA, known as the North American Standard Inspection Program.
There are eight levels of inspections ranging from the Level I Inspection, which evaluates both the driver and vehicle, to inspection levels with a more specific area of focus, such as Level VI for radioactive materials and Level VIII for electronic inspections. The North American Standard Level I, Level V and Level VI are the only inspections that may result in issuance of a CVSA decal placed on the vehicle. Passed Level VI Inspections result in issuance of a special Level VI CVSA decal. To qualify for a CVSA decal, a vehicle must not have any critical violations according to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Inspections must be performed by North American Standard Level I, Level V or Level VI certified inspectors. The term “certified” means the government employee performing inspections and/or affixing CVSA decals must have successfully completed a training program approved by CVSA.
Over these five days, inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. inspected 13,471 vehicles transporting hazardous materials and identified 2,714 violations. These included:

  • 496 shipping papers violations
  • 628 non-bulk/small packaging violations
  • 390 placarding violations
  • 277 non-bulk labeling violations
  • 167 other safety marks violations
  • 288 loading and securement violations
  • 50 integrity (leaking) violations
  • 63 Training Certificate violations (Canada only)

Self-Healing Steel

December 21st, 2021 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Industry News, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

While advancements in metal coatings don’t typically make headlines, perhaps they should. Metals like steel serve as critical support within construction, automotive, aerospace, and industrial applications, among others.
But working with steel has its drawbacks, and one of the biggest challenges in maintaining this metal is corrosion.
According to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers — or NACE — the global cost of corrosion is around $2.5 trillion dollars, a figure that doesn’t even include safety or environmental impacts.
Fortunately, scientists from Rice University say they might have a solution. According to a new research study published in Advanced Materials, Rice scientists may have produced a new alloy that has the potential to be highly resistant to corrosion.
A coating developed using a lightweight sulfur-selenium alloy has proven effective so far in preventing corrosion after being applied to steel that’s then submerged in seawater for a month.
The scientists say the formula combines several different corrosion-inhibiting methods. In one test, where the coating was applied to steel that was exposed to sulfate-reducing bacteria such as plankton, the steel coating offered an “inhibition efficiency” of 99.99%.
But that’s not all. Not only does the coating prevent corrosion, but it also has some interesting self healing properties as well. When the coated steel was perforated, it was able to repair itself when heat was applied and, in some cases, all on its own.
According to New Atlas, applications abound, the most obvious of which are architectural ones, where steel is at risk of corrosion due to moisture-rich environments. But besides that, the coating could be applied to metals used in bendable electronics due to its insulating properties and ability to target inherent corrosion risks.
Read the entire research here.

How to Clean Chemical Drums

December 16th, 2021 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Stainless steel drums are often used for contents needing ultra-clean surface protection. Furthermore, a chief benefit of stainless steel is that it is possible to sanitize and reuse the containers. But what about drums used for chemicals? Can chemical or chemical processing drums be re-used? And if so, how can you clean them?

Well, first and foremost, always wear personal protective gear when handling and cleaning industrial chemicals. Once you’re suited up for safety, consider the chemicals your drum was used for.

Depending on the former contents of the drum, one cleaning process utilizes pressurized wet steam. An efficient and effective sanitization method, systems exist that pressurize wet steam at temperatures between 240F and 330F to sanitize and degrease drums without introducing chemicals. The high temperature kills most bacteria on contact and breaks down remaining deposits. 

However, in the case of chemical drums, the former contents of the drum might not be water soluble. Acidic substances need to be neutralized before they can be safely cleaned. In this case, facilities should wash and rinse their drums at least three times with a suitable organic solvent such as acetone before using water for the final rinse.

Using the wrong substances to clean your chemical drum could cause an unwanted chemical reaction, so be sure to research what solvents work best and safely react with the former contents of your drum.

In the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, a popular type of stainless steel is Type 316. Type 316 stainless steel is incredibly heat tolerant and therefore can withstand high-temperature sanitization practices. 

While a pressurized system is highly effective, easy, and scrub-free, depending on the chemicals your drums previously held, it might be wise to scrub anyway.

CBD Oil Processing Equipment and Containers

December 14th, 2021 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

We’re proud to manufacture such a versatile product. While our industrial containers are designed and certified for specific uses, those uses are constantly growing and expanding. For example, the durability and sterility of stainless steel make it a particularly valuable material in sensitive environments such as pharmaceutical, food and beverage handling. These are industries that are constantly evolving, and so the uses for our stainless steel processing containers are evolving with it.

One expanding industry is the CBD market. Stainless steel process containers are favored for consumable products because of their durability, anti-corrosion and ease to thoroughly sanitize. And so, stainless steel is a popular, safe, efficient and reliable material for CBD oil processing equipment.

To be considered food-safe or consumable-safe, containers need to meet stringent hygiene requirements. Stainless steel CBD and hemp oil drums are made top-to-bottom with stainless steel and are also offered in seamless, crevice-free configurations to enable the highest levels of hygiene. Food grade process drums and CBD oil processing equipment prevent contamination during processing and storing.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the most popular stainless steel for process drums are grade 304, 306 and 306L. These drums have the highest resistance to chemical corrosion and oxidization. Type 316 is incredibly heat tolerant and therefore can withstand high-temperature sanitization practices. 

Like all of our drums, our process drums are strong, heavy and, in many cases, reusable due to their ability to be safely sanitized. All of our food and chemical grade stainless steel is easy to clean and disinfect, so our CBD industry partners can sanitize and reuse containers as needed while their businesses grow and evolve. 

Our CBD oil stainless steel process drums are just one of the many solutions Skolnik provides to support the safety of our customers in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food-processing industries.

Does the Weight of That Wine Bottle Indicate Quality?

December 14th, 2021 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Does the weight of that wine bottle doesn’t indicate quality?

The recent Climate Summit in Glasgow began with dire warnings of an impending climate catastrophe if world leaders don’t agree on drastic measures to limit carbon emissions and slow the rise in global temperatures. To which a bunch of wine writers replied: “Lighten up!”

Bottles, that is. An open letter rocketed around the admittedly small wine Twitter universe last weekend calling on wineries to abandon heavy bottles to help reduce their carbon footprint. The petition was written by Aleesha Hansel, a British wine writer for Decanter Magazine and several other publications, and co-signed by Jancis Robinson, a well known wine writer who has campaigned against heavy wine bottles for years. In the first three days, it gained more than 300 endorsements by wine writers and producers.

“We are no longer facing climate change, but a climate emergency that is threatening the future of wine as we know it,” Hansel wrote. “The production and transportation of glass bottles makes by far the greatest contribution to wine’s carbon footprint. The industry needs to face this head on and do what it can to reduce this burden.” The petition doesn’t actually ask for much. It calls for wineries to include bottle weight on technical sheets, which are provided to writers, importers and retailers. It also calls for “all involved in wine” to campaign for effective glass recycling, noting that only 62 percent of glass in Britain was recycled in 2018, and the proportion in the United States was “a shameful 25 percent,” citing statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Robinson has been including bottle weight in her reviews on her website for some time. Glass bottles account for 29 percent of wine’s carbon footprint — the single biggest factor — according to a study commissioned in 2011 by the Wine Institute in California. Transport is 13 percent, and bottle weight is a factor in that. About 40 percent of U.S. wineries purchase their bottles from China, meaning the bottles are shipped across the Pacific before they are even filled. Wine Business Monthly, a trade magazine, published a survey last year showing the use of heavier bottles was increasing. Why? “The biggest obstacle to making the switch to lighter bottles remains the perception among U.S. consumers that a heavier bottle indicates better wine inside of it,” the magazine reported.

Let’s be clear: The weight of the bottle does not indicate the quality of wine inside. What it does, though, is add to the price you pay at the register adds to the carbon footprint of wine.

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the footprint of our stainless-steel wine barrels. Note that our stainless-steel wine barrels are durable, reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Choosing a Packaging is More Than Just an “X” Rating!

November 16th, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

When shipping dangerous goods, only the shipper knows the potential perils that a packaging might face. Many in industry assume that if they are in possession of UN tested packaging and a packaging test certificate, they have met the requirements of the regulations concerning the packaging of dangerous goods. However, nothing could be farther from the truth! The UN requirements state that in addition to the appropriate packaging test selection, shippers should consider the mode of transport as well as conditions of climate when choosing a packaging. Failure to select the right package for a journey is often the result of shippers assuming that UN packages will perform their job unimpeded. Although the principal cause of leaks in transport is usually due to handling, initial package selection for other types of failures is critical. Therefore, when purchasing a packaging, specifically a steel drum, a shipper must request more from a drum supplier than “I want an X drum for a product.” The shipper should request “ an X rated drum for a product which will be shipped all over the world and needs a packaging that will minimally meet the UN criteria and will not be unduly affected by vibration, temperature, pressure, various types of handling equipment, and the like.” In all, the selected package must be able to successfully transport the contents safely to their destination. A cushion of safety is wise to incorporate into every drum purchase.