Before deciding to purchase FIBC bulk bags, it’s important to educate yourself. Part of that process is catching up on all of the different terms. We made this guide to help you make the most informed purchase.
Synonyms for flexible intermediate bulk containers
Wikipedia defines a FIBC/bulk bag as “A flexible intermediate bulk container, bulk bag, or big bag, is an industrial container made of flexible fabric that is designed for storing and transporting dry, flow-able products, such as sand, fertilizer, and granules of plastic.”
Here are some other common terms for FIBCs:
- 1 ton bag
- Woven polypropylene bulk sack
- Bulk sack
Terms related to FIBC features
Duffle tops are thin, lightweight top panels that are the same width and depth as the four sides of the bag. The larger opening provides more flexibility in filling options and the types of machinery it can be used with.
A spout top is a sturdy spout sewn into the top panel of the bag that is cylindrical and narrower than the width and depth of the bag.
Baffles are extra fabric panels or pieces of string sewn into each of the bag’s four corners. This reinforcement allows the bag to better hold it’s square shape when filling.
A coated bag is constructed like a standard bag, however, before it is sewn together an additional polypropylene film is added to the bag’s fabric sealing the small gaps in the weaves. A non-coated bag does not have this film.
Lift loops are fabric loops attached to each of the four corners at the top of the bag. These handles can be used by forklifts to lift the bag and make it significantly easier to handle.
Discharge refers to the processes of emptying the bag.
FIBC Safety Terms
Safe working load
The amount of weight (usually displayed in lbs.) a bag can safely hold.
The ratio that represents the factor of how many times the safe working load a bag can carry.
Example: a 5:1 SFR means that a bulk bag can carry 5 times the defined safe working load.
A bag that has been UV stabilized is protected from long-term UV degradation cause by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Fabric weight (usually measured in grams per meter squared and ounces per square yard) is a measurement of how much a fabric weighs. The higher the number, the denser a fabric will be.
Volume is the amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container.
Food Grade Terms
GFSI was created by the food industry in order to drive global collaboration and advance food safety.
BRC (GFSI recognized), or British Retail Consortium, is a trade association from the UK. BRC certified manufacturing facilities are facilities that meet minimum BRC standards. Food grade FIBCs are manufactured in BRC certified facilities.
AIB, or the American Institute of Baking is an institute that defines standards for facilities. They are not GFSI recognized, but instead have their own set of standards for facilities that manufacture food grade goods.
This term refers to something that has been approved for use in the food industry by one or multiple organizations.
The SQFI (GFSI recognized) is an institute that has created food standards and testing processes. They also certify facilities for use in the food industry.
100% virgin resin, used in the manufacturing of food grade bags is polypropylene resin that has never been used. It must contain 0% recycled materials.
FDA approved FIBCs
FDA approved FIBCs are a myth. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not set standards for bag manufacturing or certify FIBCs for safe food use.
Bulk bag accessories
Form fit liner
These are liners that are specifically designed to take the exact form of the bag they are lining including any construction related to charge/discharge (spout, duffle, etc.).
A tubular liner is a cylindrical liner with no discharge points. One end is often heat-sealed.
Gusseted Poly Bags provide a precision fit when inserted into a bulk bag. Typically, gusseted poly bags come on rolls and are inserted into the bulk bag before filling. The bag then folds out when the material is being loaded and takes the interior shape of the bag. They are also ideal for protecting pallet loads or items to be stored.
Having a liner tabbed into the body of the bulk bag will secure the liner at specified anchor points on the interior of the bag. This will keep the liner in place during loading and discharging of the material. Tabs are pieces of fabric that are attached to the interior corners of the bag and the liner.
Polyethylene liners are common plastic bags used to line the inside of FIBCs. They are flexible in nature and have a variety of applications.
A small plastic pouch sewn into one side of the bag used to store identification documents relating to the contents of the bag.
Heavy-duty straps (usually 2 as a single pair) that are threaded through each set of lift loops on opposing sides of the bag to create a single lift point.
Sift proof seams
Sift proof seams are seams in a bulk bag that are specifically designed to prevent fine materials (generally powders) from leaking through the seams.
Replacement Level Products
A rigid rectangular container often used similarly to a FIBC.
Gaylord boxes/pallet box/bulk box
A large box made of cardboard fused/attached on top of a wooden pallet.
A bulk bin is a large rigid container.
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