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

Why choosing the right steel drum matters

April 7th, 2022 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

While you may not think about industrial steel drums every day (we do), you likely see one in real life or media on at least a weekly basis. But despite the ubiquity of steel drums, they are not all the same. A drum is not just a drum. Each has been built, tested and intended for a specific set of purposes and if the wrong type of container is used for the wrong purpose, or for the wrong contents, you can encounter a host of problems: leaks, rust, hefty fines, etc. Choosing the right drum for the job is always important.

There are many questions to consider when determining the proper steel drum for your materials and purpose:

  • What type of steel is suitable for my materials?
  • What size drum do I need?
  • Will my drum require a liner? If so, what type?
  • How will the materials be transported?
  • What requirements must be met to safely and legally transport my container on train, truck, sea or air?
  • What situations might my container encounter in transit? E.g. climate, vibrations, pressure etc.
  • What certifications does my container require? UN certification? OSHA? EPA? DOT? All of the above?

When shipping dangerous goods, only the shipper knows the potential hazards the packaging might face. Thus, the UN requirements state that in addition to the appropriate packaging, testing and certification, shippers must consider the mode of transport as well as conditions of climate when choosing a container.

Skolnik manufactures UN rated drums certified for hazardous materials, but the principal cause of leaks in transport is usually due to handling. Therefore, when purchasing a steel drum for dangerous or other goods, it is critical that a shipper include all relevant details in their request to their supplier/manufacturer. It isn’t enough to have an drum rated for “XYZ,” you must ask for a container that meets the appropriate criteria and regulations for your materials, and withstand any potential environments, movement and transportation situations that it may encounter.

It is always best to be over prepared. At Skolnik, we proudly manufacture our steel drums thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards demand. A thin gauge steel drum won’t survive shipping across the country, let alone across the ocean.

With so many things to consider, it can be a daunting task to choose a container. Talk to a Skolnik Industries representative for help choosing the right drum for your needs.

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