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

Archive for March, 2022


March 29th, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

PHMSA and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission are jointly seeking comments on issues concerning requirements in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for the safe transport of radioactive materials. The IAEA is considering revisions to their regulations as part of its periodic review cycle for a new edition. These changes may or will “run downstream” and can impact regulated transport under the 49 CFR and other modal regulations. Interested parties may wish to explore this subject and contribute. Submit comments by March 4, 2022. Find out how right here.


March 22nd, 2022 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter

It’s confusing to many people that steel cable, rod and sheet stock are measured using a system that appears counter-intuitive. As conventional measurements increase in number, so does weight and thickness, right? In fact, not right! The thickness of metal cable, rod and sheet stock is often measured in gauge, and gauge refers back to a system in which the physical properties actually decrease as the rating number increases. It’s uncommon 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 the thinner 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.

Skolnik Industries manufacturers steel drums from 16, 18 and 20 gauge steel. Check out the online steel drum product catalog.

Steel Drums are More Than They Appear

March 16th, 2022 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Industrial steel drums look like a simple form, a single component with no moving parts, but steel drums are more complicated than they look. There are many moving parts of the drum manufacturing process and multiple components to the final drums themselves, each one critical to the durability and success of the container.

Every part of the manufacturing process is done to very exacting specifications. The core of a steel drum is made from cutting and rolling steel. But there are numerous other components including the heads, rings, gaskets, bolts, nuts and plugs, each of which undergoes performance tests in accordance with requirements from the DOT, UN and other governing bodies.

Furthermore, the manufacturing process is very hands-on. Skolnik’s team is with the components at every stage of the process, helping manipulate the steel and manufacture the drums and ensuring it meets not only the exacting standards of regulatory bodies, but our own exacting standards. The components must be stamped, washed, painted, and marked/labeled per requirements.

With all of these exacting elements being incorporated into a drum type that must meet a test standard, users cannot alter or exchange any components on a UN certified drum, as it will impact the ability for the drum to perform as tested and certified.

Much like the Skolnik team, Skolnik steel drums are the sum of their parts.

Is Wine Tasting better in the Dark?

March 15th, 2022 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In a recent article for The Wine Spectator, Collin Dreizen writes that: “We’re big fans of blind tasting around here. Wine tends to prefer to keep things in the dark as well: Prolonged exposure to light, especially direct sunlight, can damage wine—that’s one of the reasons wine bottles are made from colored glass.

In pursuit of a wine that’s never seen the light of day is Slovenian sparkling wine house Radgonske Gorice, whose “Untouched by Light” sparkling Chardonnay is made, aged, and bottled in absolute darkness.”

“We wanted to do an experiment, to see if there’s a difference in the taste if we secure the ideal conditions for the wine and exclude all potential influences on its aroma or character,” Gorice’s enologist Klavdija Topolovec told Wine Spectator that. “We are making a sparkling wine as a reflection of our terroir. We are proud that we have succeeded.”

Gorice’s team cites a 1989 study authored by now-retired U.C. Davis Professor of Enology Ann Noble and published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture; it concludes that fluorescent light can give wine a “light-struck” aroma, muting citrus notes and enhancing unpleasant accents like cooked cabbage, corn nuts, wet dog, and marmite aromas.”

But Gorice isn’t just fighting fluorescents. “We went a step further and eliminated light from the entire process, from harvest to tasting,” said Topolovec.

To make “Untouched by Light”, Gorice harvests estate grapes on moonless nights before moving the crop to a darkroom-like cellar where the winemaking team must wear night-vision goggles. “Untouched by Light” is then bottled in light-resistant black glass and sealed in a light-proof black foil bag. (But that still doesn’t mean you can leave it sitting in the sun—heat kills wine too!)

Topolovec says the first vintage of Untouched by Light, 2016, was largely well-received, and the wine made its U.S. debut with the 2017 vintage.

“At first we didn’t know what to expect and were not 100 percent sure if the consumer will recognize the difference between “Untouched by Light” and our regular sparkling wines,” said Topolovec. “But positive feedback both from consumers and professionals confirmed our hopes.”

The winery hosts comparative “Under the Rock” tastings, giving guests the chance to enjoy “Untouched by Light” in the natural darkness of a cave cellar. “They can even put on eye covers” said Topolovec. “This is meant for them to be able to focus on their sense of taste completely.”

For consumers tasting at home, Gorice sells an “experience box”: Along with the wine, each box includes a cooler, four black wineglasses and four blindfolds. Alas, night-vision goggles are not included.

Here at Skolnik Industries, you will love the experience of using 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.