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

Why We Offer Both "lined" And "unlined" Steel Drums

August 7th, 2007 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Safety

As a child, you probably heard your mother telling you not to buy a food can that was dented. She was right! In order to protect food from coming into contact with metal, food cans used to be coated internally with a phenolic lining. This lining was brittle and if the can was dented, it was likely that the interior lining had cracked. Today, linings offer the chemical protection of the phenolic plus they are mixed with the flexible properties of epoxy. Together, these epoxy/phenolic coatings are chemically resistant and able to adhere to a surface when it is damaged. While the epoxy/phenolic is a sprayed-on and cured coating (like paint) a passive rust inhibitor is applied to all our carbon steel drums in order to remove surface oil prior to painting. The rust inhibitor is much like the final rinse at a carwash, it is a light clear spray that is neither visible or measurable once it is applied. The purpose of the rust inhibitor is to prevent flash rust on uncoated carbon steel. If a customer needs an epoxy/phenolic lined drum for chemical or long-term rust resistance, then an unlined drum will not suffice. Please contact me, or your sales representative, if you have questions about our lining options.

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66 Responses

  1. Steve Morgan says:

    Hi, I’m looking or line 55gal drums but don’t see them on your website. I thought you sold lined drums? thank you

  2. Hello,
    We have many 55 gallon carbon and stainless steel drums. Click on this link and scroll down under the VOL column until you reach the 55 gallon options.
    Stainless steel drums are under the stainless options.
    Hopefully, we have the drums that you need!
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

  3. Chris says:

    I am looking to build a vertical smoker and am looking for a 55 gallon open ended drum with cover unlined.

  4. Hello Chris,
    Please contact our sales department at 773.735.0700, or 1-800.441.8780. They should be able to answer your questions.
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

  5. John Paull says:

    What’s the best way to remove a liner from a steel drum?

  6. Hello John,
    Thank you for your inquiry. If you are asking about removing a sprayed on and baked, epoxy-phenolic lining from a steel drum, the answer is to send the drum to a steel drum reconditioner that can burn off the lining at high temperature. Once burned, the reconditioner can complete the reconditioning process and the drum can be reused. Hope this answer is helpful.
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

  7. William Ferrier says:

    Hi Mr Skolnik

    How long would you expect the passive rust inhibitor to be effective before filling? And would i have to worry about contamination when we heat the drums to extract the contents after 4-6 months?

    What actually is this rust inhibitor made of? is it animal fat based or something that could be hazardous?

    Thanks for answering all of these people’s questions so quick!


  8. Hello William,
    Thank you for asking these questions. The passive rust inhibitor is a rinse and therefore, it’s protection depends upon the conditions of the environment. In a humid environment, the protection will be shorter than in a dry environment. Either way, a 15-30 day protection period is expected. When the drums are heated with contents, the length of protection is more associated to the compatibility of the contents to the bare steel, rather than the passive rust inhibitor. The rust inhibitor is a chemical recipe that does not include animal based products, it is not hazardous.
    Hope this information is helpful,

  9. Michael Wierzbicki says:

    I recently purchased an unlined food grade drum (not from Skolnik) to build a smoker. It appears that the bottom of the lid as well as the bottom of the interior of the drum are epoxy coated. I am not a fan of burning it out and wanted it entirely unlined. Did the company I purchased it from make a mistake? Any insight Mr. Skolnik? Thank you in advance,

  10. Dear Michael,
    If you bought a new steel drum and specified that it was to be unlined, then yes, the manufacturer did not give you what you ordered.
    Best and easiest solution is to contact the company from where you bought it, explain the mistake, and they should agree to an exchange.
    Also, be sure to remove the top plugs before you do any cooking.
    Thanks for the inquiry.
    Howard Skolnik

  11. Steve Bowman says:

    I have a Skolnik 16 gallon unlined drum which may be subject to condensation on the inside. What product would you recommend to coat the inside to reduce the chances of rusting?

  12. Hello,
    Thank you for submitting this question. The easiest way to preserve the bare steel interior is to put a light coating of a clear oil on the steel. I have heard that some people use an oil aerosol and spray the insides. Then keep the drum closed. This will not prevent the interior from rusting but it will greatly delay it.
    Hope this helps.
    Howard Skolnik

  13. Jeremy says:

    I am looking for a 55gal. drum to hold our solvent. This solvent is made up primarily of acetone and MEK. Would I need a lined or unlined barrel? If I need it lined, is there a specific kind of liner I should look for?

  14. HI Jeremy,
    Thank you for the inquiry. I will have one of our sales tech’s contact you to discuss your plan. That is the best way to get the proper answer to your question.
    With thanks,
    Howard Skolnik

  15. norval campbell says:

    My question is similar to Jeremy above from 2020. Re: storing MEK/Ethyl Acetate in reconditioned drums. What would be the best option to prevent discoloration

  16. Hi Norval,
    Thanks for the inquiry. We are the manufacturer the container and cannot offer suggestions about the reactive properties of your contents, in this case, MEK/Ethyl Acetate. What we can offer is to have your product go into accelerated sample testing at the lab of our coating manufacturer. Once tested, you can determine the reactivity of your product. If you would like to proceed with testing, I can have a sales tech contact you, or you can call us at 1-800-441-8780.
    Thank you,
    Howard Skolnik

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