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Plastic barrels are commonly used in industries such as petroleum, chemical processing, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals for the storage and transportation of a wide range of products, including oil, chemicals, solvents, foods, and beverages. These barrels play a crucial role in ensuring the safe and efficient shipping and storing of goods.

Common sizes of plastic barrels for industrial uses

A 55-gallon drum, that is, a cylindrical container designed to hold 55 US gallons or 208 liters, is the industry’s plastic drum of choice for the transport of solid and liquid goods due to its portability and capacity. While the 55 US gallon was determined to be the largest size that could be easily handled manually, smaller variants, such as 15-gallon and 30-gallon plastic drums, are preferred for more compact storage requirements for lawn and garden, food, disaster and emergency planning, aviation, automotive and laboratory research. The choice of size depends on the volume and nature of the materials being stored, ensuring efficient and safe handling within industrial environments.

Plastic barrels and metal drums

Plastic drums and metal drums are two of the most common drums. Understanding what materials are suitable to be transported or stored by plastic drums or metal drums is crucial. While plastic barrels are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), metal drums are made of heavy-duty materials, such as steel. Plastic drum containers are designed to ship and store food products, chemicals, oils, and pharmaceuticals, whereas metal drums can store heavier and more dense materials. It is worth mentioning that both steel drums and plastic barrels are reusable and recyclable, making them cost-effective industrial storage and transport units. Simply put, both plastic drum containers and metal drums are ideal industrial containers, but plastic drums are more versatile because some transported content might erode steel and cause damage.

Open-head plastic barrels vs closed-head plastic barrels

Open-head and closed-head plastic barrels serve distinct purposes in industrial applications. Both are designed for harsh conditions and constant use. Their difference mainly lies in whether there is a removable lid or not. Open-head plastic barrels are plastic barrels with lids, with a completely removable lid or top that is locked by a metal ring. They are ideal for storing or transporting bulk items that require easy access, like food products or chemicals. On the other hand, closed-head plastic drums are designed to stay shut tight with both ends seamed, featuring one or two openings to pour and vent drum contents, leaving no easily removable lid. Closed-head plastic drums are specifically designed for water and other liquid products.