Plastic vs Metal Containers: The Best Way to Store Chemicals in Winter
When winter rolls around,you’re not likely to want to spend much time outside looking into your chemical storage situation. This logistical step is something you’ll want to have squared away before the colder months hit. If you’re using chemicals for outside activities like pool treatment or to rid your property of insect infestations, you’ll need to have a plan to store these substances as the weather gets colder and you’re no longer using them.
When Winter Comes
Your timeline for this process will vary, depending on where you live. Winter hits some areas of the country as early as late October, while others bask in warmer temperatures until early December. Either way, if you need to store chemicals, you must decide whether to put them in metal or plastic containers. Read on for some information regarding the pluses and minuses of both materials.
Factors to Consider
First, you need to determine if the chemical you are storing is corrosive. Look at the label to see what ingredients it contains. Common corrosive acids include hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid. You may encounter corrosive bases like sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. Many corrosive chemicals can destroy metal over long periods of time, so plastic is often the better choice for these substances.
You should consider stackability when deciding between metal and plastic for your chemical storage needs. Because of their rounded construction, most plastic containers are not as conducive to stacking as their metal counterparts. Therefore, if you have limited space and lots of chemical to store, and you are planning on using a stacking method, see if the chemical is safe to store in metal barrels.
On the flipside, if your containers do get upended somehow, you’ll find that plastic generally can withstand impact a little better and is more resistant to puncturing. If factors like noise play a part in your choice, be aware that something hitting a plastic container is going to be far less noisy than would an object bouncing off a metal container. Sound echoing through a large space like a warehouse can become a significant factor for consideration if you’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors around your containers in the winter.
If your chemicals are safe to store in metal, you may want to consider using it so you can save a little money. You’ll find that it is slightly less expensive than most plastic containers.
If you’re planning to recycle your containers eventually, you should be aware that metal is generally the more reusable material. Because of this fact, it’s generally considered to be more friendly to the environment than plastic. You may not be thinking about recycling on the front end of your chemical storage decision, but when it’s time to dispose of these containers, chances are you’ll be disappointed if you have to throw a bunch of them away when the circumstance could have been avoided.
Making the Decision
Now that you know a little bit more about plastic versus metal storage for chemicals, you can make an informed decision when it’s time to store your unused substances during the winter. One of your key deciding factors will be whether or not your chemical can be safely stored in metal without corroding it. When you’re trying to make this decision, it may help to check with laboratory chemical suppliersbefore making a purchase. Visit hvchemical.com for more information as you make this important decision.
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