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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How To Store Oil Drums Outside

To save costs many companies are storing their oil drums outside.

It’s cheap to store oil drums outside, and anyway they’re sealed so nothing can go wrong.

As many a company has learnt through costly experience storing oil drums outside is not that simple... or safe.

The practice of storing oil drums outside creates a high risk of water ingress into the new oil, if the drums are not stored properly. This is especially true during the summer months, when the temperature of the drums can soar to
over 60 degrees C.

When it rains, water settles on top of the barrels, forming pools, and eventually the bungs are submerged. As the drum heats up (through sunlight and ambient temperature) and cools down, it actually “breathes.” That is, air is exchanged from the headspace on top of the oil into the atmosphere and vice versa. When water is sitting on top of the bungs during the “inhaling” process, it is pulled into the oil by the vacuum in the drum. This even occurs in drums that have never been opened.

Once the water is in the oil, it begins to settle to the bottom of the drum and raises the fluid level in the drum. As this process continues, more and more water is accumulated at the bottom of the barrel, deforming the barrel and pushing oil out of the bungs.

If you’re storing oil drums outside reduce the chances of water ingress:

When storage of oil drums outside is unavoidable, the drums should be stored horizontally and covered. There are a number of pallets on the market that make this possible.

If this isn’t feasible, you can simply place a block under one edge of the oil drum. When doing this, ensure that the bungs are at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions.

This allows most of the water to drain off the drum and not be sucked in during the process mentioned above.

Special drum covers can also be purchased to prevent water from accumulating around the drum openings.

Use modular containers when storing oil drums outside.

Another possible solution is to consider the use of modular containers designed for outdoor storage. Several types of these containers are available and can be used to protect your lubricants when storing oil drums outside. 


 Keep in mind that when oil containers are stored outside, the first-in/first-out method should be followed rigorously. Also, be sure to store the minimum possible quantities necessary. This will reduce the risk of product degradation and contamination.

Although often overlooked, storing oil drums outside can have a major effect on the life of the lubricant before it is even put into use. Obviously if your refill is with contaminated oil you’re looking for trouble. Remember, when it comes to maximum life and effectiveness of a lube, you want to keep it clean, cool and dry.

Other than advising you on storing oil drums outside we can’t solve your storage problems, but the professionals at Habot Synthetic Lubricants can supply you the best lubricants for your application.

1 comments:

Steel Containment Systems said...

thanks for nice sharing