A flexible intermediate bulk container or FIBC, is an industrial container made of flexible fabric that is designed for storing and transporting dry, flowable products. There are 5 main types of FIBCs that are ideal for different storage requirements, as well as being cost-effective. Keep reading to learn the differences between the five types, as well as help you to determine which type may be more suited to your bulk packaging needs.
U-Panel Bulk Bag
U-panel bags are constructed with three main body components – one that runs the full length of the bag forming the bottom and two sides (the “U”) and two additional pieces of fabric sewn between the U on two sides (the “Panel”). Generally, U-panel bags will maintain a square shape when filled, especially with the addition of internal baffles. U-panel bags are an industry standard and the most popular type of construction.
4-Panel Bulk Bag
4-Panel bags are constructed with five main body components (4 side Panels + Base). When filled, a 4-Panel bag will hold its square shape similar to other construction types. Typically, 4-panel bags will hold their shape better than the U-panel bags, and U-panel bags will hold their shape better than a Circular bag. Due to the large amount of stitching required, a 4-Panel bag has greater opportunity to fail at the seams and is prone to sifting. Nevertheless, 4-panel bags are ideal for storage due to the way they hold their shape when filled. 4-Panel baffled bags are very common bag style.
Circular Bulk Bag / Tubular Bag
Circular bags are constructed with two main body components (Body tube + Base). The body tube is made with seamless tubular fabric that forms all sides of the bag allowing for stitching only for the top and base of the bag. Although the fabric is tubular, when filled the circular baffle bag will still resemble a square bag. There is a common misconception with circular bags regarding their shape when filled. They are not truly circular; they are simply constructed with a single piece of fabric that forms all four sides of the bag. While they still resemble square/rectangular FIBCs, they will hold that shape the least of the construction types when filled.
Baffled Bulk Bag / Q Bag
Baffles are an internal component that can be added to a U-Panel, 4-Panel, or Circular style bag. More specifically, baffles are fabric panels or strings sewn inside each of the bag’s four corners that allow a bag to maintain a square shape when filled.
Without baffles, the construction types listed above can bulge or belly at the sides when filled. Baffled bags are ideal due to their stability and stackability. They also improve overall storage capacity. The most common type of baffled bag is a 4-Panel baffled bag.
Single Loop Bag / Double Loop Bag
Produced from single tubular fabric, 1 and 2 Loop Bags are widely accepted as being more cost effective than traditional 4 Loop Bags. The body-fabric of the bag itself is extended into a lifting loop which gives the bag a higher breaking strength and makes the FIBC easier to lift. The loops can be wrapped with colored sleeves which assists in easily identifying the bag. An inner liner is usually incorporated inside the bag to keep the packed product free from moisture and other contaminants.
About Southern Packaging, LP
Southern Packaging, LP stocks the largest inventory of on-demand FIBCs in the country. Nearly 1 million FIBCs across 100 SKUs are available for immediate shipment to your plant location. Our substantial inventory includes all styles of FIBCs, paper bags, UN-certified bags, BRC & AIB food quality bags, Poly bags, BOPP bags, dunnage bags, and bulk shipping supplies.
Request a quote from our customer service team or contact us today to discuss your bulk packaging needs.