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


August 31st, 2021 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

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.

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