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Crimp it! Crimp it Good!

Whether it is taping, torquing, or friction, there are many ways to properly close a UN rated packaging. The various regulations are very clear about the importance of following the closing instructions when using UN-rated packaging to ship dangerous goods. However, there are some specific types of UN packaging that require a special tooling, called a crimping tool. If the closing instructions require crimping of a drum, it is important to understand what that means and how to obtain the correct tooling necessary.

What is Crimping?

The crimping process involves using a crimping tool to create a secure closure by folding and sealing the edges of the drum lid and body together. The drum below would be an example where crimping would be necessary.

Steel Open Head Pail - 5 Gallon Steel Pail

Essentially the lid is placed on the drum, and the lugs on the lid are squeezed by a crimping tool like below.

Crimping Tool - for 5 Gallon Pail

The applied pressure causes the edges of the drum lid to be folded over the drum body. This folding creates a series of crimps or folds along the perimeter of the drum, effectively sealing the lid to the body.

Crimping ensures a tight and tamper-resistant seal, which is important for maintaining the integrity of the contents within the drum. Crimping tools for steel drums come in different designs and sizes, but they usually involve a manual mechanism for applying pressure to the lid, creating the necessary crimps. Some crimping tools have a clamping or holding mechanism to secure the lid in place during the crimping process, this ensures that the lid doesn’t move during the crimping operation. Why is this important? Not only do we want to keep the contents inside of the drum and ship them safely, but it is a requirement in the regulations that packaging is closed in the same manner it is tested. For example, in the 49CFR 178.602 (e), it says that each packaging must be closed in preparation for testing in the same manner as if prepared for actual shipment, and all closures must be installed using proper techniques and torques. As always, the closing instructions for your packaging will tell you exactly how to close the packaging and what type of tooling if any is required.

Do you have questions about UN Packaging? Take a look at our UN Packaging FAQ or contact our team of experts at 855.734.5469 or send us an email, we’re happy to help.

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Crimping Tool - for 5 Gallon PailCrimping Tool


Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano started with ICC Compliance Center back in 2016 with several years in the packaging field as a Quality Control Manager. In addition, he has 8 years experience in teaching. Michael works at the Niagara Falls Office as the Regulatory Packaging Expert where he manages packaging projects and procedures and is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP) and The Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) . Degrees: M.S. Science of Education.