UN Certified Bulk Bags: Rigorous Testing Procedures (Part 1 of 2)

UN Certified Bulk Bags: Rigorous Testing Procedures (Part 1 of 2)

Transporting and storing hazardous materials presents unique challenges as well as stricter regulations. These increased regulations coupled with the hazardous nature of the products being stored and transported require a specialty FIBC product: UN Certified Bulk Bags. 

UN (United Nations) Certified Bulk Bags are specially manufactured, tested and certified to transport and store hazardous or potentially hazardous materials. UN bags are certified for a wide range of goods in environments where there is risk of fire, explosion, chemical burns, toxic contamination, or environmental damage. 

To ensure that these bags are safe for handling hazardous materials, each bag goes through rigorous testing procedures. Let's examine each of these testing procedures and determine what each bag goes through to be considered a UN Certified bag.

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Bulk Bag Preparation for Testing

For consistency purposes, there are strict standards for testing each bag including the preparation of the bag before it is tested. Proper bulk bag testing preparation includes:

  • Bag must be filled not less than 95% full
  • Contents must be evenly distributed
  • Drop tests must be performed with the solid to be transported OR a non-hazardous material that has the same physical characteristics.


Vibration Testing

UN certified bags must be designed to withstand a rigorous vibration test. The test is 60 minutes long and the vibrations are set at a frequency which causes the bag to raise from the vibration table platform. All UN Certified bags must be capable of pass this test. The criteria for passing this test is no rupture of the bag and no leakage of contents.


Top Lift Testing

The top lift test is required for all FIBCs that are designed to be lifted from the top and/or the side. During the top lift test, the bag is lifted by an approved lifting device. During the test, the bag must maintain its integrity with a 6:1 SWL load for 5 minutes which means the bag must hold 6x the safe working load the bag is rated for the duration of the test. The criteria for passing for this test is no permanent deformation or loss of contents.


Stack Testing

The stacking test is required for all FIBCs that are designed to be stacked. During the stack test, a top load is placed on a filled bag for 24 hours. The top load weighs 1.8x the combined maximum permissible gross mass of the bags that may be stacked on the FIBC. The passing criteria for this test is no loss of contents and no deterioration of the bag making it unsafe for transportation.


Thanks for reading!

un guide image.pngThanks for reading Part 1 of our 2-part series on UN certified Bulk Bags & the rigorous testing procedures that they go through. Be sure to read part 2 when published later this week. 

Download our Buyer's Guide to UN Bulk Bags and learn all you need to know about purchasing UN Certified Bulk Bags. By downloading, you'll get access to: 

  1. What makes a UN certified bulk bag different? 
  2. UN Bulk Bag ID tag break down
  3. UN Bulk Bag rigorous testing procedures
  4. Access to a comprehensive Hazardous Materials Chart

Be sure to read this guide before purchasing UN bulk bags! 


July 24, 2017

Categories: UN Certified Bulk Bags

About the Author: Janette Lais

Janette is the Director of sourcing for National Bulk bag. Janette is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Janette has been in the packaging industry since 2004 and has held many roles such as Operations and purchasing manager, Purchasing management project manager. Before entering the packaging industry, Janette spends 19 years at a manufacturing facility where she held production scheduling, product manager, and purchasing manager position. Janette is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hiking and fishing in her free time. She also enjoys spending time with family and friends and her three dogs.

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