It’s no secret that in the past year, the price of steel in the US has risen by a greater percentage than in all the previous steel making years combined. And in the case of steel being the primary component of a steel drum, manufacturers of steel drums, and other products, have passed on the increase to the end users. To further complicate the supply chain, there are steel shortages resulting in extended lead times for steel products. There is always the consequence that when steel prices increase, end users look for ways to offset the increase. An obvious option that some manufacturers are offering to offset the increases is to drive down the necessary wall thickness of steel drums. Drum user’s probably don’t realize that reducing wall thickness increases the risk on drum performance – and a small cost savings on the drum wall thickness exposes the much more expensive inner contents to greater risk. Furthermore, reducing wall thickness will require the need for alternative performance test certifications. On the other hand, users contemplating reconditioned versus new drums will find that a reconditioned drum is going to be thicker and heavier than many of the thin-walled new drums that cannot withstand reconditioning and are being scrapped after a single use. When choosing the best drum for your product, we recommend that thicker steel (0.9mm minimum or 20 gauge minimum) is the best choice for risk-reduced transport and storage.
Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues
Archive for August, 2021
Just as there are many varied uses for industrial containers, there are many varied configurations of the containers themselves. From the material itself, to the size, shape, closure or more, businesses have many factors to consider when choosing the appropriate container for their use. In the world of steel and stainless steel drums, one such decision is whether you need a closed or open top stainless steel drum.
An open top stainless steel drum, also known as an open head container or a 1A2 drum, has a fully removable cover secured with a lever lock or bolt ring closure. Put simply: when not closed and sealed, the entire top of the drum is open for easy access to the contents. Open head drums are popular for a wide variety of materials and typically used in situations where regular access to the contents is necessary, whether for frequent addition or extraction.
One of the most critical components of any drum closure is the cover gasket, this is especially true when it comes to open top drums as the opening is larger and thus the contents are at greater risk of exposure and an environment is at risk of a quicker spill if the lid is not properly seated and sealed.
Since the adoption of Performance Oriented Packaging (POPS), new gasket styles, materials and profiles have been developed to increase drum integrity and performance. Drum fillers and shippers are responsible for inspecting container gaskets for any irregularities including, but not limited to: crumbling, cracking, slicing and tearing, before sealing or closing a drum. It is crucial that anyone opening the open top stainless steel drum follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper seating and sealing of the container.
At Skolnik, we manufacture industrial grade steel containers to suit a whole range of configurations and materials. We are always happy to lend our knowledge to anyone seeking insights on different drum configurations, certifications and proper closure practices.