Steel Drums vs. Plastic Drums: What Can You Store in Steel Drums

Steel and plastic storage drums are used to store a variety of substances in a wide range of industrial and commercial operations. Even though steel and plastic storage drums may be used in similar industries, they are not designed to perform the same functions. Steel storage drums are typically intended for the storage of potentially corrosive or hazardous liquids.

Plastic storage drums tend to be more versatile than steel storage drums. Plastic storage drums can be used to transport solid hazardous materials, safely contain and clean up spilled materials, and as biowaste or incineration containers. Steel containers are often more expensive and difficult to maneuver than plastic containers. Using plastic containers in some contexts could help reduce operational costs and maximize worker productivity.

Eagle is the industry leader in workplace storage and handling equipment. Plastic barrels and drums from Eagle are more cost-effective and are easier to transport than bulky steel drums. To help you understand how plastic drums can help you save costs and increase operational efficiency, here is a look at the design specifications and potential applications for plastic barrel drums.

Plastic Drums are Designed for Easier Storage

Blow-Molded Construction

Plastic barrel drums from Eagle feature a blow-molded high-density polyethylene construction that is resistant to a variety of chemicals. These drums are also designed to perform in a range of weather conditions and are drop tested to ensure maximum durability. High-density polyethylene containers are ideal for use in low-temperature environments.
High-density polyethylene is high in molecular weight and provides a unique balance of density and weight distribution, making plastic drums ideal for transportation. These drums are also designed to be abrasion and UV resistant.

Designed for Easier Storage

Some plastic barrel drums from Eagle also feature a nestable design which enables them to be stacked for easier storage. Plastic drums are tested at maximum weight and stacked three barrels high for 24 hours in order to ensure optimal performance. The bottoms of these containers are designed to fit into the lids to prevent shifting and sliding during storage.

Industry ratings

Plastic barrel drums from Eagle are United Nations (UN) HM-181 rated, which is the same transportation rating that is recognized by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Plastic barrel drums are also approved for the storage and transportation of packing groups I, II, and III, making them ideal for transporting solid hazardous materials.

Plastic Storage Drums Available from Eagle

Plastic Lab Pack Drums

Lab Pack Drums from Eagle are designed to safely facilitate the transportation of a variety of substances, including 5-gallon pails of non-leaking hazardous materials, cans, carboys, and smaller non-damaged bottles. By filling the lab pack drum with sorbents, these drums can also be used to contain containers of leaking chemical waste.

Plastic lab pack drums are lightweight and easy to maneuver. These drums often feature a screw-on lid that is designed with the same thickness as the drum. Screw-on lids are also designed to create a reliable closure and can be removed with a simple twist. 



Poly Salvage Drums

Poly Salvage Drums are ideal for use with damaged or leaking containers of hazardous materials. These versatile drums can also be used as storage containers, biowaste containers, and for incineration purposes. Poly Salvage Drums often utilize a lever-lock lid that can be locked in place using a built-in latch. Lever-lock lids are available in plastic and metal configurations.

These drums also feature the “Salvage Drum” product label and have passed the 3-PSI pressure test to ensure maximum durability. Salvage drums are available in various sizes, including 20-, 30-, 55-, 65-, and 95-gallon options. 

Plastic Overpack Drums

For transporting larger non-damaged chemical containers, cans, drums, or other non-leaking hazardous materials, Plastic Overpack Drums from Eagle are ideal. These drums feature screw-on lids and are available in both 65- and 95-gallon options. In addition, to use as spill containers, these drums are also suitable for use as original shipping containers and for biowaste containment.



Find the Storage Drum that is Right for You

Plastic barrel drums from Eagle are used by industrial and commercial facilities all over the world to store and transport a variety of solid materials safely. In addition to plastic drums, Eagle also offers a range of drum accessories for safe drum management and transportation, including drum dollies, hand trucks, covers, and carts. Take a look at our selection of plastic storage drums and drum accessories and find the products that are right for your facility.