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

Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

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

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.

Overpack Drums in Many Sizes

August 21st, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

An overpack drum is a container used to provide protection or convenience in the handling of a package or to consolidate two or more packages. For an overpack drum to maintain compliance, the package(s) held within it can not be leaking or compromised. If you need to contain a leaking package, a salvage drum may be just the ticket. But an overpack drum is your friend for situations where you want to consolidate multiple packages or, perhaps, a package that is a burden to work with — something oblong in shape or difficult to handle or store.

At Skolnik, we manufacture overpack drums of all sizes, from a 20 gallon to an 85 gallon TIH (PIH) Overpack Drum. As with all of our drum materials and configurations, the 55 gallon overpack is exceedingly popular. But, what about if the package you want to contain is roughly the size of a 55 gallon drum, or if you need to contain a leaking 55 gallon drum? Well, that’s when a 65 gallon overpack or 65 gallon salvage overpack drum comes into play.

UN certified Overpack containers qualify as secure outer packaging. Because they are commonly used in multi-pack situations, larger size Overpack drums, such as the 65 gallon overpack, are quite popular. The 65 gallon overpack drum is a dynamic solution when you need a little more space than the traditional 55 gallon overpack drum allows.

Because they are designed to provide additional protection, overpack drums are built stronger and must meet more stringent requirements than other containers.

Many Skolnik customers call in search of Salvage Drums or Overpacks, and the conflation of the two is a common mistake. Thanks to our sales staff awareness, we are able to discern exactly which type of container our customers really need. If you have any questions about using an Overpack or Salvage Drum, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

PHMSA Extends Enforcement for the Transport of Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products

August 18th, 2020 by Howard Skolnik

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

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, PHMSA is aware of the challenges that transportation companies are facing in providing personnel with necessary materials, such as hand sanitizers, that provide for protection of their health and safety and comply with government guidelines. Workplace locations like package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, resulting in an urgent need for sanitizing and disinfecting products.

As a result, PHMSA will extend its enforcement discretion for the transportation of any carrier transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials on a motor vehicle for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of employees of the carrier. Transport of these products must also be in accordance with PHMSA’s April 20, 2020 Notice of Enforcement Discretion. The extended enforcement discretion will continue through October 31, 2020.

A Brief Examination of Open Top Stainless Steel Drums

August 17th, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

At Skolnik, we manufacture a whole range of configurations, linings and sizes of steel drums. Some days the options feel limitless. But, in terms of heads, there are just two types of drums: open head and tight head. 

An open head, also sometimes called an open top, stainless steel drum has a fully removable cover and is often favored in processing situations such as pharmaceutical, food, chemical or cosmetic processing. This is because the lid can be fully removed, granting full access to the interior of the drum, and, of course, because stainless steel is so durable and easy to sanitize between uses.

Open heads are best used for solids and viscous liquids. In addition to processing situations, they are often used for paint or even radioactive waste.

One of the most critical components of any drum closure is the cover gasket. Due to the size of an open top drums opening and thus the surface area of the materials at risk for exposure, it is especially crucial that operators take care when they are seating and sealing an open top stainless steel drum. We recommend always checking the gasket for irregularities first, then ensuring that it is properly seated into the cover groove. 

In almost any industry where contents are shipped or stored, drums are used. It is important to always make sure contents are being stored in the proper drum and that the drum is properly closed. Skolnik Industries is dedicated to providing exceptional quality and service, this includes insights on different drum configurations, certifications and instructions on proper closure practices. You can find more information on open head or open top stainless steel drums on our website.