A Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container or FIBC also called a Bulk Bag, can inexpensively and easily move and store from 250 – 2000 Kgs of bulk materials. This paper discusses some FIBC ‘basics’ and then provides guidelines to help you safely fill, transport, and discharge FIBC’s.
The concept of the original FIBC or Big Bag was a simple one, specially designed bags which could be used to store and transport product in bulk. They were first used in the USA in the early 1940’s by the United Tyre Company to transport Carbon Black to charge their Banbury Mixers. They were two tonne capacity, manufactured from a rubber coated cotton fabric, with an open top and sixteen lifting loops. From this fabric they then moved to a bag constructed from a Terylene/Nylon mix which was stronger than the cotton fabric. During this period the use of FIBC’s stayed mainly in the USA with some chemical companies using FIBC’s for internal use.
The use of FIBC did not “take off” until polypropylene was developed in the 1960’s. Polypropylene was woven on flat looms, one yard wide. Its use gave added strength and elasticity.
Polypropylene bags were then used in the UK and Europe mainly for Fertilisers. However as a result of high demand for cement to satisfy the construction demands in the Gulf, FIBC’s were used for the transportation of this product which, in the main, was shipped from Germany.
The use of FIBC in general has increased considerably since their first use with companies in the materials handling sector, if not yet actually using them considering their use.
2.0 TYPES OF FIBC
Generally FIBC’s used today are square or rectangular with the size being determined by the capacity required, in conjunction with transport and handling constraints. FIBC’s are either single trip or multi trip that can, if required, have an internal liner.
2.1 Single Trip Bags - tested to a safety factor of 5:1, are in the main flat bottomed, and are designed...