55 gallon drums are cylindrical containers used for shipping bulk goods. There are three materials that drums or barrels as they are sometimes called can be made of: steel, plastic or paperboard, (often referred to as a fiber drum). So which type is best for shipping your cargo? Is your product a liquid or solid, and is it hazardous? After answering these questions it will be easier to determine what the best choice is.
One of, if not the most common goods shipped in 55 gallon
drums is liquids. Therefore, a plastic or steel drum would be the best choice.
However, if the item is meant to be eaten or is sensitive to metal, a plastic
barrel would be best. On the other hand, if the liquid is hazardous a steel
barrel would be a better choice. A frequent feature that plastic and steel
drums share are the option of having an open or closed top. The closed tops are
usually welded shut for a more secure barrel. The entry and exit of the liquid
or powder inside can be retrieved from a bung hole in the top of the barrel.
This is especially important when shipping hazardous materials. Nearly all
drums plastic, steel or fiber is reinforced at both ends and often in the
middle. When the barrels are full they can be quite heavy. Lastly, fiber drums
are mostly used for food grade products or powders because they do not
55 gallon drums are a great way to send off cargo in bulk because of their great capacity and stackability. Drums and barrels are also sustainable because they are frequently used more than once. When considering your next shipment see if a drum is the best option to optimize on space while still protecting your goods along the way.
Two common 55 gallon drum types are closed head or open head drums. Closed head drums, also called tight head drums, have a permanent lid with a small opening to allow for the pouring out of the material enclosed, while open head drums feature removable heads. 55 gallon drums are constructed from three types of materials; steel drums, plastic drums and fiber drums. With their applications varying depending on the materials, however size is also a factor. The most common drum sizes are 55 gallons and 30 gallons, although there are 40 and 20 gallon drums. 55 gallon drums cover a wide range of applications in industries such as petroleum, chemical processing, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, hazardous waste collection, waste water treatment and agriculture.55 gallon drums are typically sorted into three main categories of industrial drums: steel, plastic and fiber. Steel drums are made from stainless steel, cold rolled steel or carbon steel. Often referred to as fuel drums, steel drums are most commonly used for pharmaceuticals, fragrances, flammable chemicals and other hazardous substances. Stainless steel drums in particular are used in anti-corrosive and sanitary applications. In addition to 55 gallon, 30 gallon steel drums are also available for non-bulk applications, often used with food products. However, steel barrels can rust when exposed to the elements, causing many companies to prefer non-rusting plastic drums. Extremely strong and rigid, yet light-weight, plastic drums are often called blue barrels because they are typically blue in color. Plastic drums are often used to transport and store acidic and caustic liquids, powders or other materials. Commonly constructed from plastics such as nylon, polystyrene, PVC and HDPE, plastic barrels are ideal for liquid and low viscosity foods, solids and high viscous materials, lubricating oils and chemicals. A low-cost alternative to steel drums, fiber drums are constructed from fiber board or dense paper. The most common application for fibre drums is the transportation of food products, including frozen or refrigerated goods such as cheese and ice cream. However, fiber drums are ideal for shipping or storing dry or solid materials, and are completely incinerable and stackable, as well as being the most easily recycled type of drum.
Image Provided by Container Distributors, Inc.
Image Provided by Maxi Container, Inc.
unit of volume generally ranging from 31 to 42 gallons, depending upon
the standard of the industry in which the barrel is used. For example,
in the oil and gas industry, one barrel equals 42 gallons; a barrel of
beer, however, equals 31 gallons.
- Large storage containers, particularly those with capacities greater than 2,000 gallons.
- The amount of space provided inside a container such as a steel drum or plastic drum, for a specific amount of product.
- A mechanism on the opening of a container such as a steel drum or plastic drum, used to protect container contents and prevent leakage.
- The incorrect application of a closure of a container a such as a steel drum or plastic drum, which may result in content leakage.
- A closure of a container a such as a steel drum or plastic drum, that has a rounded top surface.
- A protective seal made of a thin, soft substance, such as cork, that provides extra protection against container spillage.
- A substance designated by the EPA or OSHA as posing a health threat due to toxic, radioactive, or corrosive properties. The storage, transportation and distribution of such substances is strictly regulated to ensure safety.
- A material unsuitable for recycling and reuse. Because these substances pose health threats, strict guidelines exist for proper disposal.
- The susceptibility of plastics to break due to shock.
- A protective coating applied to steel drums and plastic drums interiors. Possible coatings include polyethylene (PE), polyester and silicone.
- An extra closure, commonly made of foil or aluminum, that tamper-proofs the primary closure on steel drums and plastic drums.
- Processing steel drums and plastic drums for future reuse. Reconditioning may include cleaning and rinsing of the steel drums or plastic drums interiors and exteriors, abrasive cleaning and painting.
- The torque force required to unscrew a closure from a container, measured in pounds per inch.
- A device designed to cover the spout from which the pouring of the elements takes place on the lid or cover of steel drums or plastic drums.
- The joining point of two edges of a material to create a whole.
- Steel drums or Plastic drums configuration in which the steel drums or plastic drums lids remains attached to the body of the steel drums or plastic drums and cannot be removed.