As the FIBC industry continues to expand, more and more use cases are being identified. In fact, it seems like every week we hear about an innovative new use of bulk bags, either for storage or transportation of materials. In addition to new uses for FIBCs, we are also seeing new industries embracing the use of bulk bags, including some that have never used them before.
Recently, FIBCs have become a go-to solution for industries that handle, store and transport wet materials. Traditionally, these sorts of operations tended to look elsewhere for their material storage and transportation solutions, but the durability, affordability and flexibility of FIBCs has led many businesses to explore their use.
Of course, there are certain unique challenges that must be considered and accounted for when using FIBCs to transport wet materials. To help, we’ve assembled a list of best practices you can employ to optimize the performance of your FIBCs in wet material applications. Let’s explore.
Our Suggested Guidelines for Storing and Transporting Wet Materials with FIBCs
In manufacturing and transporting operations, reliably containing liquids or moisture-heavy materials in any type of container can be challenging. Even a small hole or crack in the container can lead to a loss of valuable materials or cross-contamination.
When using FIBCs to store and transport wet materials, the following steps can help protect your goods, staff and operations.
Utilize Liners to Mitigate Liquid Seepage
- In a recent blog post, All About Woven Polypropylene Bags, we explored the construction of FIBCS. By design, FIBCs are constructed of woven strands of polypropylene. This method of creating bags results in a very finely woven mesh. Unfortunately, any woven mesh, no matter how fine, will allow liquid to seep through the microscopic openings within the bag – even coated bags. There is a common misconception that coated bags are waterproof – they are not. For the best protection from the elements and waterproofing, you must use a polyethylene liner. Adding a polyethylene liner to the inside of your FIBCs is a simple, affordable and effective way to keep moisture in the bag and prevent the water from seeping through the weaves in the FIBC.
Source FIBCs with High Safe Working Loads
- Weight is a significant concern when storing and transporting wet materials. It’s simple science that water-laden materials can weigh significantly more than dry products – not only do you have to consider the weight of the materials, but also the weight of the liquid they contain. With that in mind, it is important to source FIBCs with the highest possible Safe Working Load, or SWL. The most common SWL for FIBCs is 2,200 pounds, however many distributors stock bulk bags with SWLs of 4,000 pounds and above. The best way to determine need is to use a product weight guide and density calculator to determine what SWL is needed and find an appropriate bag from there (click here to find our product weight guide and calculator).
Consider Your Discharge Options Carefully
- Another common problem encountered when using FIBC bulk bags with wet materials is clogging – or bridging – of the bag’s bottom discharge spout. In a recent blog post, What is FIBC Bridging? How Can You Minimize It?, we explored ways to combat this issue, many of which can be helpful when dealing with wet materials. To prevent wet material bridging, consider your FIBC’s discharge carefully. The most effective types of FIBC bottom construction for this application are Oversized Bottom Discharge – bags with oversized discharged spouts – and Full Bottom Discharge – where the entire bottom of the bag drops out during discharge. Using either of these types of bags will help minimize issues with wet material bridging.
Work with a Quality Distributor
- As with many supply chain issues, the distributor you work with to source your FIBCs can make all the difference. You want a distributor who is familiar with the unique challenges associated with storing and transporting wet materials, and the relationships needed to source the appropriate FIBC bulk bags for your unique application. Working with the right FIBC distributor can help take much of the challenge out of storing and transporting wet materials.
Talk to Your Distributor to Find the Right Bag for Your Unique Needs
If you are considering using FIBCs to store or transport wet materials, it is vital that you identify and source the proper bags for your unique needs. Talking to your distributor about your options can be helpful and may mean the difference between a successful use of FIBCs and a less than optimal outcome.
At National Bulk Bag, we are here to answer your questions and provide advice on the best solutions to your unique wet material storage and transportation needs. Reach out today.
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for visiting the National Bulk Bag blog! We hope you found this post helpful and informative.
Safety and reliability is our number one priority. Each bag that we sell has a safe working load (SWL) – with the most common being 2,200lbs and 3,000lbs. To make sure the product you’re packing will not exceed the SWL of the bag you’re interested in, you’ll need to know the bulk density of the product you’re packing as well as the cubic foot capacity of the bag.
Click the link below to download our Product Weight Guide and FIBC Volume Calculator to help you determine how much weight a specific bag will hold.