55 gallon steel drums are generally a staple in most manufacturing plants. They can hold nearly any type of material including aggressive chemicals or somewhat harmless waste materials. Some of the most common reasons manufacturing plants use steel drums are bulk storage or transport of hazardous materials or waste. Steel drums are the most reliable for this particular job, let us show you why:
Carbon Steel – Used for many materials, both liquid and solid. Not quite as reliable for corrosive materials, but may be lined for added resistance.
Stainless Steel – Used for both liquids and solids, like carbon steel drums, but more suited for aggressive chemicals and corrosive substances. Stainless Steel 55 gallon drums may be lined for added resistance to corrosive materials.
Thickness of Material – Many people get confused by numbers like 1.5/1.2/1.2 when they are used to describe the thickness of a drum. Is it 1.5mm thick or 1.2? The easiest way to remember what these numbers stand for is to think about it from top to bottom. The first number is for the lid. The second number is for the body of the drum. The third number is for the base. So for this example, the lid is 1.5mm, the body is 1.2mm, and the base is 1.2mm. Remember, the thicker the material, the more pressure it can withstand inside and out.
Open or Closed Head – The top of the drum is referred to as the head. An open head drum is one that may be opened and closed with relative ease. Open head drums are used most commonly in areas in which the contents are frequently needed for normal plant operations. A closed head drum is one that is permanently closed.
Temperature Restrictions – Steel drums are made to withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. The limit at which a steel drum will begin to melt is 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit for carbon steel and 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit for stainless steel. With that being said, we believe our 55 gallon steel drums could withstand nearly any temperature you put it up against; the primary concern would be the temperature that the contents can withstand.
Choosing Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel
The biggest difference between stainless steel or carbon steel drums is the cost. Carbon steel drums are generally the less expensive option because they’re more disposable than stainless steel. By disposable we mean that a carbon steel drum will corrode or rust and a stainless steel drum will not. Stainless steel simply lasts longer than carbon steel.
If you’re currently looking for 55 gallon drums for your manufacturing plant, we recommend stainless steel if you’re working with corrosive materials. Contact us any time to discuss your options. We’re happy to help you find the perfect working solution to your storage problems.