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A container or receptacle is an object that has a cavity in its interior , the particular purpose of which is to separate its contents from its environment. A vessel is an object with a rigid and rigid shell that can hold contents of different consistencies. In a round or cylindrical shape, such vessels are also called barrel or barrel (from the Latin tunna for "barrel"). Larger, elongated open containers are the rectangular trough with a flat bottom or a curved cavity and the oval trough-shaped tub .

Technical standards define a container as impermeable to the medium for which it is designed (a wicker basket, for example, is a container, but not a container for liquids. A plastic bag is a container, but not a container.), And a container as a movable object (an oil tank a heating system is a container, but not a vessel). In common parlance, no distinction is made according to leak tightness, and containers can generally be used.


Containers and vessels are used to keep or store different objects for a certain period of time. However, they can also be used as a container to group or organize objects with certain similarities ( piece goods ). Another area of ​​application is the protection of the contents from external influences or, conversely, the protection of the environment from the dangers of the contents in storage and transport.

There are specialized containers for solid, liquid and gaseous substances. These can be differentiated according to the manufacturing material, such as wood, ceramic, glass, metal, plastic, etc. They can be used stationary, for example as a mountain bunker or silos, or mobile, for example as a tanker , container , stackable or collapsible container , as required. The pressure vessel is a special form .

Word origin

The word container goes back to Middle High German to keep in the sense of “ to keep ”. In Middle High German since the 11th century, the vessel has been traceable as gevǣze , from Old High German gifāzi , 'equipment', 'jewelry'. Later in a narrower meaning under the influence of the not sure related word barrel as a 'provision load' (compare 'to grasp').

Examples of containers

Examples of vessels

Requirements for containers

Containers are ubiquitous in everyday life, and the reliability of their function is of fundamental importance. Therefore - in this form only valid for Germany - the standard giver generally dedicates basic regulations to the container:

  • DIN 28005 general tolerances for containers , which regulates all production and operational aspects for containers. It has been summarizing older regulations that have been gradually distributed since 1988 and until now comprises:
    • DIN 28005-1: 1988-11 standard part 1: general containers
    • DIN 28005-2: 2001-04 Standard part 2: Steel containers, enamelled
  • PAS 1023-3 Guideline for the implementation of the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV) , Part 3: Containers , from 2003 regulates the handling of all containers as work equipment
  • §50 AustrianWork Equipment Ordinance (AM-VO)

Special containers are recorded in a number of technical standards and guidelines :

Work, such as repair , cleaning or maintenance , in and on containers:

In addition, according to the BetrSichV , all pressure vessels in particular are subject to additional regulations as they require monitoring , such as those covered by the Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23 / EC (PED) throughout Europe .

Web links

Wiktionary: container  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: vessel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Containers, Jars, and Other Containers  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See for example Jürgen Martin: The 'Ulmer Wundarznei'. Introduction - Text - Glossary on a monument to German specialist prose from the 15th century. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical historical research. Volume 52), ISBN 3-88479-801-4 (also medical dissertation Würzburg 1990), p. 116.
  2. Kluge: Etymological dictionary of the German language . 24th edition.
  3. Leaflet for dangerous goods transport. (pdf), archived from the original on December 6, 2008 ; Retrieved June 14, 2008 .