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The application market of steel drums and plastic drums is in a big competition. Each has its own advantages, and there are competitions and compromises.

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The application market of steel drums and plastic drums is in a big competition. Each has its own advantages, and there are competitions and compromises.

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The application market competition of steel drums and plastic drums

200L steel drums have two forms: open steel drums and closed steel drums. 200L steel drums are its mainstream products, and there are also small steel drums as small as 4L. The capacity of plastic drums ranges from 5L to 200L, or even as large as 1,000 liters. Plastic drums and steel drums have common application fields, but also have their own areas of advantage.




1. Petroleum product packaging


At present, although the number of oil pipelines and oil tanks is gradually increasing, steel drums are still the main packaging form of petroleum products, and most of them are 200L closed steel drums.



The 200L steel drum cannot be filled with oil, only to 80-90% of the capacity. During the process of injection and pouring, the gas space in the barrel will be reduced or increased accordingly. The special breathable barrel plug is designed to maintain the balance of the pressure inside and outside the barrel, so as to prevent the steel barrel from bursting due to too high internal pressure. The effect of leakage. Steel drums perform better than plastic drums in harsh shipping environments. For example, its high temperature resistance is good, and it is not easy to deform or even melt in high temperature like plastic barrels. It is estimated that the national output of 200L steel barrels in 2021 may exceed 120 million.



The 200L plastic barrel was introduced in China in 1988. At first, merchants questioned whether it could be used as a packaging for petroleum products. Later, because plastic barrels also have certain advantages in this regard, such as being able to withstand greater mechanical pressure, low cleaning costs and reusable warehouses, their market demand will not increase. At present, the annual output of 200L plastic barrels in the country is expected to be more than 50 million.



In addition, a composite intermediate bulk container (IBC) has become popular in recent years, commonly known as a ton-packaging plastic container, with specifications of 820L, 1000L and 1250L, generally with steel frames and trays. Large capacity is its most important feature. This is currently unattainable with steel drums.

In addition, plastic drums are also limited in application, such as not being able to hold gasoline, trichloroethylene, benzene, toluene and thinner. They are inflammable and explosive dangerous goods. After impacting with non-conductive plastic barrels, it is easy to cause static accumulation, resulting in explosion accidents.



2. Light industry, chemical products, food packaging

The development of China's light industry and chemical industry has provided a vast market for steel drums, among which small and medium-sized steel drums are the main demand objects, and the estimated market capacity exceeds 50 million. Small steel drums generally use thin steel plates or tinplate below 0.5 mm as raw materials for containing paints, coatings, lubricants, etc.; while medium-sized steel drums are used for containing paint, calcium carbide, yellow phosphorus, etc. In particular, 4L rectangular steel drums and 18L steel pails are very popular.

The market share of plastic barrels in this field is expanding. Its largest potential market is the coatings industry.


The demand for steel drums in the food industry is also further expanding. It is estimated that the annual demand for this part of the market is more than 25 million per year.

Most of the steel drums used for food packaging are open-ended drums with a capacity of 200L or 210L. At present, the most expensive objects are ketchup, applesauce, honey and other products, all kinds of seasonings, baking oils, concentrated juices, beans Classes, etc. will use plastic buckets as outer packaging.


However, it is best not to store edible oil in plastic buckets for a long time. It should not be too long when it is used to hold wine or aromatic items.

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