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

The Ins and Outs of Nitric Acid and Nitric Acid Shipping Containers

December 2nd, 2020 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

Every day, the shipping and transportation industry moves tons upon tons of containers all around the globe. Many of these containers hold dangerous goods and materials. Nitric acid, for example, is a highly corrosive mineral acid. It is poisonous and has strong oxidizing properties. All the same, it needs to be contained and shipped regularly because it is commonly used in industrial applications and daily life. Nitric acid is used in woodworking, food cleaning, and in the manufacturing of different fertilizers and several polymers, including polyurethane. And so, proper Nitric acid shipping containers are incredibly important.

As Nitric Acid is classified as a ‘Hazardous’ material, it is essential that it be contained safely in storage or transport. When containing any material, it is imperative that the container be compatible with the material – that means neither the material nor the container must be affected by direct contact between each other. A tricky thing when you are containing something as corrosive as Nitric acid.

Due to it’s high corrosion-resistance, stainless steel is popularly used for Nitric acid shipping containers. By regulation, nitric acid should be stored in a 304 grade stainless steel barrel. This is a medium grade stainless steel, also known widely as ‘food grade stainless steel’.

Stainless steel Nitric acid shipping containers prevent any reaction between the acid and the container. Furthermore, they are easy to safely vent and less inclined to ‘balloon’ from pressure build-up from the acid unlike plastic containers. And, because of stainless steel’s chromium content, they are resistant to corrosion unlike containers made from other metals.

At Skolnik, we also offer seamless Nitric acid shipping containers, also referred to as our seamless sanitary drums. These containers are completely crevice-free to further prevent the accumulation of unwanted bacteria in the crevice of conventional drum design (see illustration). These drums can be used for processing of SuperClean contents or for safe transport of the most aggressive chemicals, including Nitric Acid.

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