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

Know your Linings

December 13th, 2016 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Safety

Carbon steel and stainless steel each possess properties that make them perfect containers for specific materials without any modification. But, for some materials, especially in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries, a drum lining is necessary. Lining is often required as a safety precaution, to meet the strict regulations of government agencies, and/or because the contents or environment would be contaminated without it. Even as a precaution, lined steel is a necessary measure to preserve the integrity of the materials, container, facility, handlers and the environment.

The most common lining for a lined steel drum is a phenolic coating. Phenolic linings provide a chemical protection between contained materials, such as food, and the metal of the drum. The phenolic is mixed with an epoxy to give it extra flexibility – this prevents it from cracking if the drum undergoes any damage. Skolnik lined carbon steel also includes a rust inhibitor to remove surface oil prior to lining. The upper tolerance for Skolnik’s epoxy phenolic lining is about 550 degrees Fahrenheit, after which the coating could become brittle and compromised.

A rust inhibitor will prevent flash rust on our unlined/uncoated drums, but if a customer needs a long-term rust resistant drum or a drum that can safely contain chemical materials, an unlined drum will not suffice.

Skolnik lined steel drums are available in a variety of different shapes, sizes, materials and lining compositions. We recommend talking to one of our sales representatives if you have any questions about your container needs, lining needs or your materials compatibility with linings.

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13 Responses

  1. Jarrett says:

    Quick question,

    Can phenolic food grade coated drums be heated with water in them (around 220F) or should this lining be removed? (will anything be leeched into the water heating it to that level?)


  2. Hello, and thank you for your questions. Phenolic lined drums are cured in an oven baking process. While they can withstand some moderate heat, heating the drum, especially with a localized heating band, could cause the lining to crack or peel. The temperature when the lining is applied is expected to be the most heat that the lining will encounter. Any action you take against the lining is at your own risk, please create test samples before shipping.

  3. Ron Burns says:

    I have a lined drum (brownish/red in color) that I believe is coated with a Phenolic coating and I have a couple of questions.

    1. Can this barrel with the coating be safely used as a BBQ smoker where the temp would range in the 300-325 degree range.

    2. I want to braze (safety-Silv 56 rods) brackets to hold the grate. Will doing this create an issue with the phenolic coating where it was brazed that would make it now unsafe for cooking food.

    3. Can the liner be painted with a high temp paint and be able to cure properly.

    Thanks for your help.
    Ron Burns

  4. Hello Ron,
    Thanks for your questions. Skolnik manufacturer’s new steel drums, we do not manufacture grills, nor do we recommend the use of any steel drum to be used as a grill. I would suggest that you not do any of the questions that you are asking.
    Hope you can find a safe alternative.
    Howard Skolnik

  5. Harrison Yoguez says:

    I was wondering if gold phenolic liner would be able to be removed from 5 gallon paint cans. I work for a distribution company and we constantly are dealing with 5 gallon paint cans that are lined and it just got me interested into learning more about how that liner works and if it is able to be removed and replaced easily.
    Thanks for your help, Harrison Yoguez

  6. Hello Harrison,
    Thank you for the inquiry. Since we only manufacture new drums, I cannot speak on the removal of the interior lining. You might want to contact the Reusable Industrial Packaging Association ( https://www.reusablepackaging.org ) and ask them to refer you to a reconditioner that removes and re-applies linings.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

  7. Harrison says:

    Sounds good. Thanks for the quick response Mr. Skolnik.

  8. Al Kausar says:

    Hi, the inside of our drums are coated (brown colored), they all have a strong odor, phenolic/metal weld type. What is the best way to deodorize these drums. Thank you

  9. Hello Al,
    Thanks for the inquiry. If the drums have been closed for a long period of time, they might just need to be aired. If you want to take an additional step, you can gently wash the interior with a non-aggressive soap, such as dishwashing soap, just make sure you rinse thoroughly.
    Hope this takes care of the odor.
    All the best,
    Howard Skolnik

  10. James N says:

    If I am going to store diesel fuel in the drum would you recommend a lined or an unlined steel drum?



  11. DEar James,
    Thanks for your inquiry. We do not recommend any fuel be stored in a steel drum.
    Be safe! Thanks,

  12. Alan Ferry says:

    I need to ship automotive engine oil overseas. Will the phenolic hold up to petroleum oils?

  13. Dear Alan,
    Thanks for the inquiry. We cannot take responsibility for the performance of the phenolic lining as there are many variables that can affect performance. We are able to offer a free accelerated lab test where you can see the effect of your product in a lab condition, for 30 days. If you would like to proceed with this test, please contact our Sales Manager, Jon Stein, jon@skolnik.com, and he will start the ball on this process. I hope this is helpful information.
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

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