Coated or Uncoated? Choosing the Proper FIBC for Your Product.

May 28, 2021


Coated or uncoated? We get this question a lot. As a leading supplier of FIBC bulk bags, our job is to educate our customers and put them in a position to make the best possible purchasing decision for their business. Let’s review the common questions when considering the right type of FIBC for your manufacturing operation.

How to choose the proper FIBC for your product.

We are often asked by our Customers, What is a coated bulk bag? Do I need a coated or uncoated bulk bag? Is a coated bulk bag better or stronger than an uncoated bulk bag? 

In addition to bag size, construction, and Safe Working Load, one of the most important features of a bulk bag is whether the fabric is coated or uncoated.

What are FIBCs made out of?

A Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container or “FIBC” is manufactured using heavy gauge woven polypropylene (PP) fabric. The flexible fabric is created by weaving thick high-strength PP tapes. The tightly woven tapes form heavy sheets that are sewn together to form the bag. Once the fabric is woven, a layer of PP film can be laminated to the fabric to form a “coating”. 

FIBCs can be made in a variety of constructions including Single Loop, Circular, U-Panel, and Baffled. Each construction is capable of being coated or uncoated.

What is an Uncoated FIBC?

An uncoated FIBC is an FIBC that is made with standard woven fabric that has not been laminated with a PP film layer. Uncoated bags provide for greater airflow and moisture transmission than coated bags. In general, uncoated bags are suitable for particle sizes that exceed 125 microns or 120 mesh.

Common Applications

  • Beans and Seeds
  • Fertilizer
  • Abrasives
  • Animal Feed
  • Rock and Landscaping Materials
  • Sand
  • Peanuts

Most fine products packed in uncoated bags do not leak through the fabric. However, they may appear to dust or smoke from the bag’s fabric. Most bags that are equipped with a PE film liner are made with uncoated fabric.

What is a Coated FIBC?

A coated FIBC is an FIBC that is made with standard woven fabric that has been laminated with a PP film layer. The film layer is typically 1.0mil or less and can be applied to the inside or outside of the bag’s fabric. The PP film layer reduces airflow, moisture transmission, and dusting of the contents. The film layer itself does not have any strength properties. Coated FIBCs may also be referred to as laminated or non-breathable bags. In general, coated bags are ideal for particle sizes smaller than 125 microns or 120 mesh.

Common Applications

  • Flour (including most food grade applications)
  • Cement
  • Carbon Black
  • Ceramics
  • Refractories
  • Resin
  • Pigment
  • Salt
  • Kaolin Clay

PP Coating is most often found inside the bag. The coating may be hard to detect with the naked eye. The coating creates a smooth surface with a glossy appearance.

Benefits of Coated Bags

Coated bags offer additional protection against moisture and contamination by sealing the microscopic gaps between the woven PP tapes. 

Benefits of Coated Bags Include:

  • Improves water/moisture resistance of the FIBC
  • Reduces the likelihood of product contamination
  • Reduces fraying of PP tapes
  • Helps maintain product freshness
  • Eliminates dusty, unsightly packaging

Need even more protection?

Coating only acts as a limited moisture and dust barrier. The coating will not make the bag waterproof and certain ultra-fine products may sift through the coating. 

When product protection and sift resistance are critical, we recommend choosing a bulk bag with a PE film liner. For more information on our complete line of FIBC Liners visit our FIBC design guide

Need Bags Now?

Southern Packaging, LP stocks over 1,000,000 bulk bags available in hundreds of sizes and styles. Our coated, uncoated, and lined bulk bags are suitable for nearly any industrial application. Contact our experienced sales team for more information. Check out our custom packaging design services.

Are you interested in doing business with a bulk packaging distributor?

Southern Packaging has grown to become one of the premier bulk packaging distributors in the country. We have succeeded by listening to our customers, identifying their needs, and delivering on our promises.

Strategically located near Dallas, Texas, our company buys, sells, and delivers more than 1,100 different industrial packaging products to nearly 900 locations across the U.S.

Our substantial inventory includes all styles of FIBCs, paper bags, UN-certified bags, BRC & AIB food quality bags, Polybags, BOPP bags, dunnage bags, and bulk shipping supplies. Contact us today to discuss your product and shipping needs with our customer service team! 

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