What is a FIBC?
An FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container) commonly referred to as a “Bulk Bag”, “Big Bag” or “Tote” is an intermediate bulk container, having a body made of a flexible woven material (typically polypropylene), which
- Is handled mechanically by forklift trucks, cranes or hoists when filled.
- Is designed to be lifted from the top by means of integral, permanently attached devices (lift loops, stevedores or sleeves).
- Is intended for shipment of solid materials (including, but not limited to, materials in powder, flake, or granular form).
- Does not require further packaging
The dimensions, handling, filling, discharging and barrier features of an FIBC can be customized based on the needs of the customer. FIBCs typically hold anywhere from 1000 – 4000 lbs (500 – 2000 kg) of product.
FIBC’s are commonly used for dry flowable products such as, but not limited to grains, seeds, salts, powdered coatings, sands, clays, cement, ferroalloys, and resins. They are frequently used in the food, pharmaceutical, agricultural and chemical industries.
Additional details will be required for the filling and discharging environment, but here are a few product details that are needed to help ensure you get a FIBC that will meet the basic requirements of your product.
- Product bulk density (lbs. per cubic foot or kg per cubic meter)
- Safe working load (SWL) / Net fill weight needed per FIBC
- Is the product a hazardous material / dangerous good
- Does the FIBC need to meet food safety requirements
- Does the FIBC need to meet pharmaceutical industry requirements
- Product mesh size
- Moisture percentage
- Special barrier needs (i.e. hydroscopic?)
- Product characteristics (free flowing, bridging, static build up) Filling temperature
What are FIBC's commonly used for?
What product information is needed to select the correct FIBC design?
How is an FIBC handled?
- U-Panel: A bag that has one panel forming two opposite sides and the bottom, creating a “U” panel shape.
- Circular: Also called a tubular bag, is made from fabric woven on a circular loom, which is then cut to the proper length for a specified bag height; thereby, eliminating the vertical seams on each of the bag’s sides.
- Four Panel: Four separate pieces of fabric are sewn together to create the body of the bag.
- Baffle: Pieces of fabric or other material sewn across each corner of a tubular or four – panel bag to improve a bag’s squareness, appearance, improve the stability of the load and to more efficiently utilize storage or shipping space
What filling and discharging options are available for FIBCs?
FIBC’s are commonly mechanically handled by one of the following means:
- Lift Loops: Loops are located at the corners of the FIBC. The loops are either sewn onto the body of the FIBC or they are sewn into the side seams. The size of the loop opening, the length of the ends and strength of the webbing can be customized depending on the handling needs and safe working load.
- Stevedore Straps: A belt or rope connecting either two adjacent lift loops, or all four loops, used for single point lifting.
- Single Point Lift: Created by extending the lift loop material or body fabric so it can be gathered at one point above the bag.
- Sleeve Lift: The tubular sleeves running along two opposite edges of the FIBC.
What is the difference between a coated and uncoated FIBC?
Yes, FIBC’s can be used with or without liners depending on the needs of the product and the distribution environment. Should a liner be needed, there are two basic styles of liners:
- Form Fit: Designed to take the exact shape of the FIBC. Form-Fit Liners will allow improved filling and complete discharging of product. Unlike a basic “tube liner”, Form-Fit Liners offer a flat top and bottom and incorporate a spout diameter and length to best compliment the FIBC’S fill and discharge spouts.
- Tubular: A liner with no spouts or contours, it is a straight cylinder, which may or may not have one end heat-sealed.
Both of these liners can be loosely inserted or secured with ties, tabs or glue. Liners can also provide antistatic or barrier properties such as oxygen, moisture or UV.
What is meant by "SWL"?
Common filling options include an open top, duffle top, conical top or a spout top. Discharging/bottom options include a duffle bottom, conical bottom or a flat bottom. The filling and discharging options selected are going to be dictated by a number of factors including:
- Filling Method (i.e conveyer, gravity, bulk bag filler)
- Where FIBC will be Filled (clearance, electro static concerns, flammable products, etc.)
- The FIBC Filling Equipment Desired or Currently Used
- Desired Fill or Packaging Rate
- Sizing Restrictions / Constraints
- Fill Spout Dimensions Required
- Controlled Discharge Desired
- Discharge Method (i.e. gravity, screw, conveyor, bottom cut, full dump)
- Where FIBC will be Discharged (clearance, manual, electro static concerns, flammable products, etc.)
- Desired Discharge Rate
- Discharge Spout Dimensions Required
- Handling Preference: Existing Hoist and Fork Loaded Trolly Frame
Can a liner be added to a FIBC?
SWL or Safe Working Load is the amount of load, (in pounds or kilograms), which a bag is designed to carry. The design of the FIBC and the sewing method used, combine with the strength of the fabric, determines the Safe Working Load. This SWL is printed on the manufacturing label.
What are the basic design options for FIBCs?
A coated bag incorporates an interior or exterior layer of polypropylene (PP) to reduce moisture intrusion or sifting of the contents. Also called Non-breathable or laminated fabric/bags. The uncoated FIBC has no PP coating.
What is Sift-Resistant Construction?
A type of an FIBC construction that provides resistance from product sifting when the bag is filled with very fine materials. This typically utilizes coated fabric and filler cord in the sew lines. Commonly used in combination with a coating or an interior liner.
What is “UV protection”?
A feature of an FIBC fabric that provides protection from prolonged exposure to the sun’s degrading UV rays. An additive is blended with the resin prior to extrusion of the yarns to provide this protection. UV protection performance should be evaluated per the procedures set forth in the ISO 21898 standard
Are FIBCs recyclable?
Portions of a FIBC are 100% recyclable and facilities specializing in recycled plastic may or may not require these items/parts to be separated. The Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association has compiled a list of FIBC Recycling Resources which is available to view and download using the link provided.
Can FIBCs be used more than once?
FIBCs should only be reused within a ‘Closed Loop’ system. In a Closed Loop system the FIBC is cleaned, reconditioned and qualified for reuse to handle the same product in the same application for which the FIBC was originally designed. A Closed Loop system usually involves the cooperation of the manufacturer of the FIBC, the customer purchasing the FIBC and the end user of the FIBC.
To safely reuse FIBCs these guidelines should be followed:
- Remove all foreign matter from the FIBC’s interior.
- Ensure statically held dust is less than 4 ounces total.
- Replace liner if applicable.
- Replace web ties.
- Replace labels and tickets critical to safe FIBC use.
- Replace cordlocks if necessary.
- Reasons for Rejecting a FIBC
- Lift strap damage
- Damp, wet, mold
- Wood splinters
- Printing is smeared, faded or otherwise unreadable
The manufacturer should maintain a record of origin, product used in the FIBC and the quantity of uses or turns.
- FIBCs should be randomly selected for top lift testing. The frequency and quantity shall be determined by the manufacturer and/or user based on their specific situation.
- The top lift testing will be conducted per the latest version of the ISO 21898 standard.
- Test results should be maintained by the manufacturer for a minimum of three years.
How should I stack my FIBCs in storage?
Only stack FIBCs if they are designed to be stacked, you are sure of their stability and they are stacked using a “Pyramid” or “Supported” stacking method:
- Pyramid Stacking: Each bag above the first layer must sit on at least four lower bags. Each layer is subsequently tiered inwards forming a pyramid structure.
- Supported Stacking: Formed against two retaining walls of sufficient strength.
Never approach or repair a damaged bag without first removing all bags stacked on top.
What is the Shelf-Life of a FIBC?
As of this present date, the we is not aware of, nor has it ever been presented with any data, test reports, or studies determining the shelf life of an FIBC. Any recommendations in regards to the shelf life of an FIBC, are solely the responsibility of each company making such declarations. The Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association does not endorse any typical shelf life for a FIBC / Bulk Bag. Variables such as UV inhibitor used, construction (fabric weight, thread, webbing, etc.), exposure to environmental hazards (UV, temperature and humidity), storage methods, handling methods and the contents of the FIBC can dramatically impact the shelf life of a FIBC. The best method for determining if a FIBC remains suitable for use is to conduct periodic performance testing (top lift, UV, etc.) on samples and compare the results to the results from the newly manufactured samples from same lot. Samples should continue to meet industry standards such as those set forth in ISO 21898.
Are there additional precautions I need to take when storing FIBCs?
Always protect your FIBCs from the harmful effects of UV rays (sunlight) and inclement weather (rain, snow, etc.). Over time, exposure to UV rays and inclement weather will weaken the strength of a FIBC. Always try to store your empty FIBC’s inside a covered facility or warehouse that is free from any water or moisture contamination that could come into contact with your FIBCs and damage them. Storing empty or filled FIBC’s outside is not recommended, but if you do, you should always cover them with some type of material that will prevent their exposure to UV rays and inclement weather. There is no guarantee that FIBCs stored outside & unprotected from the UV rays & inclement weather will be safe to handle.
What is a Static Protective (Static Dissipative or Antistatic) FIBC?
A static protective FIBC is a bag that incorporates design features to protect against the hazards created by static electricity. An evaluation of the materials used, machinery, and process is required to determine the static discharge hazard and the level of static protection required.
A static dissipative FIBC is a type of static protective bulk bag made from fabric that allows static electricity to discharge safely. Static electricity may be dissipated to ground via conduction through a grounding cable, or may be dissipated into the atmosphere via a process called air ionization or corona, without the need for grounding.
The term “antistatic FIBC” is sometimes used as a synonym for static protective FIBC. It is also used to describe FIBCs that offer some protection against static electrical hazards, but do not incorporate the charge dissipation mechanisms found in bulk bags that offer full static protection.
IMPORTANT NOTE! Always ensure that the FIBCs are tested and labeled in accordance with IEC 61340-4-4 Ed. 2.0 and that the type of static protective FIBC being used is appropriate for the flammable or explosive environment.
There are primarily three types of bags for controlling the static charge associated with some processes:
A type “B” bag is constructed from insulating fabric with a breakdown voltage of less than 6 kV. This provision prevents the risk of energetic sparks and propagating brush discharges which can ignite dust-air mixtures and flammable gases and solvent vapors. Type “B” bags may be used in the presence of the combustible dusts with MIE greater than 3mJ, but only in the absence of flammable vapors of gases. Type “B” bags are sometimes called antistatic bags, but it should be noted that type “B” bags only provide limited protection against static electricity and they do not provide any mechanism for dissipating static charge.
- Used safely to transport dry, combustible powders (MIE > 3 mJ)
- There are to be no flammable solvents or gases present around the bag
- DO NOT USE to transport flammable products (MIE < 3 mJ)
A type “C” bag is constructed from fabrics having inter-connected conductive threads and designed to prevent the occurrence of incendiary sparks, brush discharges and propagating brush discharges. The bag must be electrically grounded during filling and emptying.
- Used safely to transport flammable powders
- Used safely when flammable solvents or gases are present around the bag
- DO NOT USE when ground connection is not present or has become damaged
A type “D” bag is constructed from static protective fabric that includes interwoven static dissipative threads and designed to prevent the occurrence of incendiary sparks, brush discharges and propagating brush discharges. Type D FIBC’s do not require grounding.
- Used safely to transport flammable powders
- Used safely when flammable solvents or gases are present around the bag
- DO NOT USE when the surface is contaminated or coated with conductive products such as water or grease.
IMPORTANT NOTE! Type A FIBC’s are made from fabric or plastic sheet without any measures against the buildup of static electricity.
Always check with your FIBC manufacturer that your static protective FIBC is fitted with the correct anti-static liner before handling. The chart below is only a general guideline. Always reference the current IEC standard for all of the requirements.
Inner liners and FIBC: combinations that are permissible and not permissible in hazardous explosive atmospheres
|Type L1||Type L2||Type L3|
|TYPE B||Not Permissible||Permissible||Permissible|
|TYPE C||Permissible||Permissible||Not Permissible|
|TYPE D||Not Permissible||Permissible||Not Permissible|
Important! Always reference the ISO standard for the current requirements.
How do I safely handle a FIBC?
A flexible intermediate container can carry anywhere from 1000-4000 lbs of product, so it is critical you are aware of the Do’s and Don’ts that apply to their use. The guidelines are far too extensive to include in this FAQ, but the full set of FIBC Safe Handling Guidelines are available to view and download in the Resource Center. Click here for full set of FIBC Safe Handling Guidelines.
Can a FIBC be used for hazardous materials / dangerous goods?
Yes, if it is an approved package for your particular product, the package and any components are compatible and the FIBC selected fully complies with all the requirements contained in the applicable regulatory code.
Regulatory Code Links
- United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods
- U.S. Department of Transportation’s Title 49 CFR
- European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)
- Mexican Secretariat of Communications and Transportation’s NOM-029-SCT2
- International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG)
- Regulations Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID)
- European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Inland Waterways (ADN)
- Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-43.146
How Must a UN FIBC be Marked?
Each FIBC intended for hazardous materials / dangerous goods must be marked as follows:
1. The United Nations packaging symbol.
2. The code designating the type of FIBC:
- 13H1 = FIBC, Uncoated, No Liner
- 13H2 = FIBC, Coated, No Liner
- 13H3 = FIBC, Uncoated, With Liner
- 13H4 = FIBC, Coated, With liner
3. A capital letter designating the packing group(s) for which the design type has been approved:
- X = Packing Groups I, II and III (IBCs for solids only)
- Y = Packing Groups II and III
- Z = Packing Group III only
4. The month and year (last two digits) of manufacture.
5. The State authorizing the allocation of the mark; indicated by the distinguishing sign for motor vehicles in international traffic.
6. The name or symbol of the manufacturer and other identification of the FIBC as specified by the competent authority.
7. The stacking test load in kg. For FIBCs not designed for stacking, a “0” must be inserted.
8. The maximum permissible gross mass in kg. The weight of the FIBC and its contents.
Makings must be durable, legible and placed in a location so as to be readily visible.
Letters, numerals and symbols shall be at least 12 mm high.
An FIBC designed for stacking or not designed for stacking, as appropriate, must be marked as follows:
The symbol must be displayed in a durable and visible manner.
The symbol must be a square with each side being not less than 100 mm (3.9 inches) by 100 mm (3.9 inches) as measured from the corner printer marks shown above. Where dimensions are not specified, all features must be in approximate proportion to those shown.
For FIBCs designed for stacking, the maximum permitted stacking load applicable when the FIBC is in use must be displayed with the symbol. The mass in kilograms (kg) marked above the symbol must not exceed the load imposed during the design stack test divided by 1.8. The letters and numbers indicating the mass must be at least 12 mm (0.48 inches).
Placards or Labels will also be required based on the product going in the FIBC. Reference all applicable regulations for current placard and label requirements.
What standard should be used to evaluate FIBCs for non-hazardous goods?
When evaluating the performance of a FIBC for non-hazardous goods the ISO 21898 standard should be used.
Can I get a FDA approved FIBC?
While many users of FIBCs may request an “FDA Approved” bulk bag, it is important to note that such a product does not exist. The Food & Drug Administration does not issue any approvals or certifications of FIBCs or FIBC liners. The FDA regulations that govern food contact can be found here. With regard to polypropylene resin, a major component of most FIBC fabrics, FDA Food Contact Regulation 21 CFR 177.1520 states that they must be 100% virgin.
What is the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in January 2011. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that the US food supply is safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it. FSMA grants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authoritative powers, including mandatory recall, container detention, foreign supplier verification, and records inspection.
What is a CROHMIQ bulk bag?
Crohmiq is a brand name of a static dissipative fabric patented by Texene Packaging Fabrics. Only a few bulk bag manufacturers in the world have the ability to produce this type of Crohmiq fabric. Southern Packaging has partnered with FIBC manufacturers capable of producing Chrohmiq branded products.
What are the different parts of an FIBC or bulk bag?
- Inlets and Openings
- Webbing or Lift Loops
- Outlets or Discharge Spouts
- Ties, Clips, and Buckles
- Other Specialty Parts
What is a fill spout?
A standard fill spout is a spout with a 14" diameter opening in the top (center) of the bag and is usually 18" long. It's designed to allow the user to fill the bag, minimizing dust occurrences as the bag is being filled. The length of a standard fill spout is 18" long. Spouts can be customized to fit any individual application.
What is a Duffel top?
A duffel top is typically a 30" high "skirt" sewn to the top of a bulk bag. The duffel usually comes with a tie allowing the user to secure the duffel closed and at the same time allowing the user full access to the product.
What is the difference between duffel top and open top?
The main difference between the duffel top and open top is the duffel itself. An open top bag is simply a bulk bag without a top closure, keeping the product exposed.
What is a cone top?
A variation of an inlet, where the top is a pyramid shape to allow over filling of the bulk bag. This is also called a conical top.
How do you pick up a bulk bag?
Bulk bags are lifted by one of several types of lifting applications. Some examples are standard 10" lift loops, lifting sleeves, single point crane lift, and stevedore straps. There are other designs that are made to lift bulk bags as well. Lifting options can vary and are all custom-tailored, i.e. 15" lift loops.
What are lift loops (straps)?
Lift loops are the means by which a forklift raises the bag with its forks. In other words, woven polypropylene and multifilament yarn loops attached to the 4 top corners of the bulk bag to enable a fork truck operator to put the fork in and lift the bag. Standard lift loops are 10" but can be customized to any workable size.
What is a lifting sleeve (tunnel loops)?
A lifting sleeve is a tube of polypropylene fabric used as a lifting application, designed to allow the forks of a forklift to fit into the sleeves and lift the bag.
Can I use a crane to lift a bulk bag?
Yes, however you must use a special lifting device or loops specifically designed for a crane lift. You must follow the correct manufacturer recommendations when lifting a bulk bag.
What is a stevedore strap?
It is a belt connecting either two adjacent lift loops, or two adjacent belt sewn portions, used for single point lifting. A belt or strap is usually flat, while a rope is braided.
What is fabric weight?
The measure of the fabric weight in ounces or GSM
What different fabric weights are there?
Fabric weights are directly related to the amount of product that the bulk bag will be holding or the safe working load (SWL) of the bulk bag. The higher SWL bag will in most cases have a heavier fabric weight.
When referring to fabric weight what exactly are ounces?
U.S. scale used to measure fabric weight in ounces per square yard.
When referring to fabric weight what exactly is GSM?
GSM is a commonly used scale for fabric weight used internationally. It stands for grams per square meter.
How do I convert my fabric weight in ounces to GSM?
1 oz. is equal to 34 GSM
What is DENIER?
The weight of yarn in grams per 9000 meters.
What is HEM/HEMMING?
A fold and sew, or glue/tape operation, which prevents fraying of cut fabric and will add lift strength and seam strength to each bag. This also provides a clean finish to the FIBC. It may be either towards the inside or outside of the bag.
What is a seam?
A sew line made by the attachment/assembly of two or more components.
What is chain and over lock style stitching?
There are several styles of stitching used when sewing a bulk bag. Chain (safety) and over lock stitching are two of the most common styles used. Chain style stitching is series of looped stitches forming a chain-like pattern. Over lock style stitching sews over the edge of two pieces of fabric. Many manufacturers use this style of stitching to assure a tight seam, which assists in reducing sift, occurrences.
What is filler cord?
A polypropylene material used in manufacturing sift-resistant FIBCs. A rope or braided yarn like cord that is sewn into a seam to help prevent the escape of fine dusts and powders.
What does sift proofing, or sift resistant sewing mean?
Sift proofing is designed to prevent product from leaking out of the bag. Since a bulk bag (FIBC) is a woven product, sewn together, there is the possibility of product leaking out of seams and areas where the bag has been sewn. Sift proofing or anti-sift sewing is a method of using a felt or a spongy type yarn in the sewing process. The sewing operator feeds the sift cord along the seam of the bulk bag while sewing.
The sift cord fills in the areas near the needle hole in the seam. When using felt as a sift resistant material, the felt is sewn either along with the threaded seam or in between the fabric panels. There are many ways to utilize sift proofing, these are some of the ways that sift proofing has been used to prevent product from sifting out of the seams.
Is the fabric breathable?
Woven polypropylene is breathable. Air and water will flow through an uncoated bulk bag. For applications that require a great deal of breathability, some use a ventilated bulk bag.
Are bulk bags water-tight or water proof?
No, because a bulk bag's fabric is made from a woven material, so the bag is not technically "water proof". Users generally want a coating or lamination as a moisture barrier from condensation or a light amount of water. The use of an internal polyethylene liner works best in many applications, but is still not 100% water proof. Liners and lamination are designed to keep water away from the product. The difference between using a bulk bag with coating/lamination or using a bulk bag with PE liner is in the amount of moisture that you are trying to keep out of the product. For more specific requirements, such as oxygen barrier, co-extruded, or liquid liners, we suggest a specialized liner.
What is coating/lamination?
A common type of "coating" would be a 1 mil. (30 GSM) lamination of heated semi-clear polypropylene, which is bonded to the fabric. Interior coating is most common in U-Panel style of bags, while circular/tubular bulk bags most commonly have exterior coating.
Are there any types of specialized liners available?
Yes, we can supply you with several types of liners. Form fit liners, tabbed liners, oxygen/moisture barrier liners, liquid liners, foil liners, and more.
What is a form fit liner?
Designed to take the exact shape of the bulk bag. Form fitted liners will allow improved filling and complete discharging of product.
Unlike a basic “tube liner”, these form fit liners offer a flat top and bottom and incorporate a spout diameter and length to best compliment the FIBCs fill and discharge spouts.
These spouts can also be heat sealed closed for added sanitation and protection.
Form fit liners are available in a variety of standard and co-extruded polyethylene’s, including barrier and anti-static features.
Form fit liners can be affixed permanently to the FIBC by gluing or sewn tabs or can be designed to be easily removed from the FIBC with ties on the tabs.
How do you empty a bulk bag?
Bulk bags are usually emptied by a discharge spout, which is a woven tube that is attached to the bottom of the bulk bag.
Usually the discharge spout is tucked inside a closure on the bottom of the bag.
There are two main style of closures referred to as star or pajama; the most common and recommended being a pajama closure.
The closure is designed to protect the spout and to prevent the product from sifting out of the discharge before its intended discharge. Discharge spouts can be customized with specific sizes and closures.
What is a B-LOCK?
A B-Lock is a spout accessory designed to assist in the closure to the spout. It is a quick and easy way to close a spout, manually regulating the flow of product. The device locks quickly and easily, and replaces the normal tie usually sewn to a spout. A B-Lock with remote release can be added to a bulk bag so it can be emptied at a safe distance in certain circumstances.
What is a cord lock?
A closure device to hold the rope or cord in place on the spout. This type of closure device is typically used on the discharge spout. They come in a variety of sizes and eliminate the need for hand tied knots.
What is a drop (diaper) bottom?
A drop bottom bulk bag is a full open bottom bulk bag that has a flap that covers over the open bottom. Once the flap is untied, the bulk bag can be discharged quickly through the open bottom.
What is a conical discharge?
A conical discharge many times is designed to help in the flow of discharge of the product in a bulk bag.
Many times, depending on the type of product being filled into a bulk bag, the product does not flow well when discharging and the product tends to pile up in the corners of the bag which creates issues for the person discharging.
Sometimes the user has to shake or tap the bag to assist in the flow. The conical discharge is a design that tapers the bottom of the bag into a discharge, which essentially eliminates a bottom panel of the bulk bag. When the bulk bag is lifted, all of the product flows into the cone and makes the product flow easily.
What is a perimeter band?
A perimeter band is a band sewn around the outside perimeter of the top of a bag, which is designed to give extra strength to loops when lifting.
How do I attach my documents to the bag?
Typically documents are attached by use of a document pouch, which is usually a 12” x 12” polyethylene bag sewn to the top seam of the bulk bag. A document pouch can have zip lock opening, or a standard opening and can be sewn where the users prefers.
Can you print on a bulk bag?
Yes, bulk bags can be printed. Usually the printing is on the side panels of the bag. Print colors are usually one, two, or three colors, but we have the capability to print with more colors. We can also print custom logos.
What color fabric can I choose from?
The standard fabric color is white; however, we can make specific colored fabric. Colored fabric is considered a special order and has minimum requirements.
What size bulk bag do I need for my product?
In order to accurately determine the correct size, you will need to consider some of the following items: bulk density of a product, filling and discharging spatial requirements, shipping and storage requirements.
What is bulk density?
Bulk density is the property of the product that you are filling into the bulk bag. It is the mass of the product divided by the volume it occupies. The volume includes the space between particles as well as the space inside the pores of individual particles.
How do you determine the cubic foot capacity of a given space?
Cubic measurements take all three dimensions into consideration - width, length, and height. This will tell you the volume of a given area. To calculate the number of cubic feet in a given space, multiply the length by the width by the height.
Can I use the standard cubic foot capacity calculation for a bulk bag?
No, you must also consider the expansion or stretch of the bulk bag fabric when bag is filled.
What size bulk bag do I need if I want to package a given number of pounds?
Determine your desired total weight and divide by the bulk density of your product to calculate cubic foot capacity needed.
Example: Customer wants to package 2500 lbs. and wants to know what size bag they need. Customer is packaging Alumina that has a bulk density of 40 lb/ft3.
- 2500 / 40 = 62.5
- A 62.5 cubic foot bulk bag is needed to package 2500 lbs. of Alumina.
- Use calculator and work backward to determine what size bag is needed.
- Other factors such as pallet size may help you determine base of your FIBC and you can increase height to determine correct size.
What is HACCP?
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points - HAACP is a systematic preventive guideline to food safety. HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, where actions, known as Critical Control Points (CCP's) can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards occurring.
What does HACCP stand for?
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point.
What does ISO stand for?
International Organization for Standardization, which are international standards and specifications for quality assurance.
Are bulk bags traceable?
Bulk bags are traceable by lot numbers given at the time of manufacturing. Each bag has a specific lot number associated with its manufacturing date and lot.
Can I patch a bulk bag?
Patching a bulk bag is possible, but not recommended, and solely at the users discretion and risk.
Where can I get a copy of MSDS for my bulk bags?
We cannot provide a MSDS for a bulk bag, but we can provide an MSDS for the resin used to make the fabric of a bulk bag.
How do you fill and discharge FIBCS?
Typically, FIBCs are filled from the top through a sized inlet spout or open top. Filling operations range from the extremely economical and simple to the highly expensive, hygienic, and sophisticated with dust control, bulk densification mechanisms, and fully automatic multi-stage filling cycles. Discharging typically occurs through the bottom of the bag via sized outlet spout, or other style.
Discharging, or emptying processes are much the same as with filling and run the gamut from simple manual operations to highly automated and sophisticated discharging systems.
Even though much sophistication and automation has been built into the higher-end processes and equipment designs over the years, filling and discharging FIBCs still largely involves manual intervention and dedicated operators to handle certain parts of the filling and discharging processes.
The design and flow of your FIBC handling process is extremely important and should be carefully thought out. The best bag in the world will still fail to work efficiently, and may not work at all if the surrounding process is not well thought out and designed for every specific material and process application.
Please consult with an experienced FIBC expert when designing a new process or if you feel you need help in this area. We have several trusted contacts in the industry and would also be happy to refer you to them for more information.
How do you store FIBCS?
Empty FIBCs are usually stored on the pallets they arrive on and may be covered with a simple polypropylene or polyethylene cover and tied down with plastic banding, or they may be custom packed and sealed per the client’s specification.
What is the best way to transport FIBCS?
Transportation of FIBCs is not as diverse as the designs or applications in which they are used.
Depending on their contents, bulk bags can be transported by most all normal means of industrial transportation including truck (enclosed or sometimes open trailer), rail, ship, or even air. Often, ISO containers are used if there will be multiple modes of transportation used. This eliminates the need to actually transfer each individual bag to a new vehicle or container and significantly reduces the risk of package integrity loss during transit.
With almost any bulk bag application, it is important to consider all of the final characteristics of the filled package including weight, shape, bulk density, and package design (lined, unlined, etc.). Bulk density, which was mentioned earlier, is particularly important. In most cases, it is highly beneficial to insure that the material within the bag is brought to more than 90% of its fully tamped bulk density before transporting the package.
The reason for this is simple, a packaged that is not properly “densified” during or directly after the filling process contains a higher amount of air and is more unstable, thus creating a high risk of material shift and possibly package failure, which can be very dangerous.
Again, please consult with an expert if you have any questions in regard to this part of the handling process.
Do FIBCS have a shelf life?
Most common designs of FIBCs have a very long shelf life of more than five years. However, the common construction materials used in the production of FIBCs do have the potential to exhibit creep or stress relaxation over time. This means that the packages may not act as originally designed if stored for very long times or if they are exposed to more harsh storage environments with elevated temperatures, humidity swings, etc. Some FIBCs, such as those that contain special chemical coatings, may in fact have relatively short shelf lives due to the chemical breakdown of that coating. This includes some designs of antistatic liners and even the FIBC fabrics themselves. It is important to ask the shelf life question if you are considering using antistatic packages or have electro statically sensitive environments.
Can FIBC’s be used in flammable or combustible environments?
The short answer is yes. Some FIBCs are designed to be used in these environments. These bags are called Type C or Type D and they differ in how they protect against dangerous static discharges. Please consult other information on this site or with a trusted expert in the area for a more thorough explanation.
What should I be looking for in a FIBC supplier?
There are a number of things that we would recommend you consider when evaluating an FIBC supplier. Below is just a list to get you started.
- Expert resources available throughout the organization from sales associates, account management, design, production, quality control/assurance, and supply chain management.
- Cost-effectiveness of goods and value added in the form of service & support. In the FIBC world, you get what you pay for; it helps to understand and prioritize your key technical and financial needs.
- Reasonable mechanisms in place to mitigate risk of supply interruption.
- Capability to track production and quality control throughout the life of individual FIBCs or each individual production lot.
- Adherence to appropriate quality control standards for your application including ISO, AIB, SQF, HACCP, etc.
- Other satisfied clients. Feel free to ask your prospective FIBC supplier for references.
Are FIBC bags recyclable?
Yes, new bulk bags are made from 100% virgin polypropylene.
What is a duffel top?
A duffel top is typically a 30" high "skirt" sewn to the top of a bulk bag. The duffel usually comes with a tie allowing the user to secure the duffel closed, at the same time allowing the user full access to the product.
What is the difference between duffle top and open top?
The main difference between the duffle top and open top, is the duffle itself. An open top bag is simply a bulk bag without a top closure, keeping the product exposed.
What is a fill spout?
A standard fill spout is a spout with a 14" diameter opening in the top (center) of the bag, usually 18" long. It's designed to allow the user to fill the bag, minimizing dust occurrences as the bag is being filled. The length of a standard fill spout is 18" long. Spouts can be customized to fit an individual application.
What are lift loops (straps)?
Lift loops are the means by which a forklift raises the bag with its forks. In other words, they are loops attached to the 4 top corners of the bulk bag to enable a fork truck operator to put the fork in and lift the bag. Standard lift loops are 10" but can be customized to any workable size.
How do I attach my documents to the bag?
Typically documents are attached by use of a document pouch, which is usually a 10x12 polyethylene bag sewn to the seam of the bulk bag. A document pouch can have ziplock opening, or a standard opening and can be sewn where the users prefers.
What are baffles?
Baffles are pieces of fabric that are sewn to the inside corners of a bag to maintain its cube shape after filling. The baffles have holes that allow the product to flow freely through them. The baffles also prevent the bag from bulging, which makes the bag stand up straight and in turn allows the bags to be more efficient in their use of space.
What is a perimeter band?
A perimeter band is a band sewn around the outside perimeter of the top of a bag, which is designed to give extra strength to loops when lifting.
What is a B-lock?
A B-lock is a spout accessory designed to assist in the closure to the spout. It is a quick and easy way to close a spout, manually regulating the flow of product. The device locks quickly and easily, and replaces the normal tie usually sewn to a spout.