Commercially, a number of different sizes and styles of containers are used in fluid/grease packaging to accommodate large format filling. Some of the most common are pails, kegs, and drums. On the small end of the scale, pails are designed to hold anywhere from 1-5 gallons of fluid, while drums and kegs can hold 15-55 gallons. Weights of these containers will depend greatly on the product being packaged.
Pails, kegs, and drums are made from a number of different materials,including several forms of recyclable or reusable plastics and cold-rolled or carbon steel. Plastic containers used for fluids and greases are most often constructed out of polyethylene terephthalate (PET). However, plastic containers can also be made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or nylon. Which type of plastic often depends on the chemical properties of the fluid or grease being packaged, as certain chemical agents are known to cause plastics to degrade or dissolve.
Steel containers, especially drums, are another staple in large format packaging, because they are durable, resistant to chemical degradation, and easily stacked on pallets. Additionally, steel drums may last for up to 20 years but require regular refurbishing, liner inspections, cleaning, and treatment for corrosion.
Many industries consume large amounts of oils and lubricants and large format containers like pails, kegs, and drums are well-suited to meet their needs. These industries include:
Many different types of fluids are commonly packaged in large format containers. Some of the most common of these include:
Proper storage of lubricants and greases in large format containers reduces the risk of deterioration and ensures the fluids remain safe and accessible for the long term. Large format containers must be kept in a clean, dry, and well-ventilated location, protected from the elements. For example, Industrial oils and base oils should not be stored in outdoor containers for fear of damage or contamination.
Additional consideration should be given to the shelf life of stored products, as it may vary based on the additives they contain. Automotive oils with many additives may have a shelf life of five years. In contrast, cutting oils and soft greases might only have a shelf life of one to three years.