As with any container, getting the right size is a balance between overspending on oversized storage versus overstuffing a small container. You need to get the right size as close as possible to make bulk orders and supply chain management easier, but how can you get it right without a lot of expensive trial and error?
Palmetto Industries is ready to help you with standardized bag options and custom-made FIBCs (Flexible intermediate bulk container) bags alike, but we can also help you estimate your needs. Here are a few details to consider when choosing the right FIBC bag.
One-hundred pounds of cobalt powder is different from 100 pounds of railroad ballast. 1 kiloliter of fruit juice may fill, stack, and swell differently than 1 kiloliter of rubber. The type of material used and its chemical properties will affect the way it fills any container.
The density of a product affects the container in multiple ways, but internal pressure is one of the most important regarding the physical impact on a container. How does your product react with more weight and more pressure? Does it bulge in specific areas, create rigid plates, or points when compacted?
Different products reach dangerous levels of tension and release at different levels. While you may not be compacting powders and liquids to the point of bursting into fine shrapnel, larger solids, like metal fragments, may be a hazard in any environment.
FIBCs handle density better than the average bag because you can see the results of higher pressures long before they become high-pressure hazards, in fact, well before the bag is close to breaking.
Your products may change depending on the weather. Outside weather, storage unit conditions, shipment conditions, and other factors can affect some materials even if they’re vacuum-sealed.
One of the most common changes comes from temperature. Objects expand as they heat up and contract—which the academic world insists on calling negative contraction, but leave that to the universities—when cold.
Perfectly-sized containers may be fine when they shrink, or they may cause the container to bend in on itself or crumble. Thermal expansion is the bigger issue, since metal containers and other objects may leak due to expansion.
Your product could be susceptible to temperature problems as well. Although FIBCs can safely store materials based on the bag’s temperature ratings, you still need to plan around products that can melt. Chocolate, candies, adhesives, waxes, and amorphous solids need climate control, and they should also be in a container with a liner in case melting becomes an issue.
In addition to climate concerns, food-grade or pharmaceutical-grade materials should take note of our food-grade solutions. Thankfully, Palmetto Industries provides both FIBCs with liners and bulk liners for your existing equipment if you need to use what you have now.
Filling and Discharge Overhead
FIBCs are helpful in this regard because they’re flexible and can take up less space than a rigid, unfilled container. Oversized metal containers will waste significant storage space if not filled completed, but FIBCs with a bit of overhead can be folded, cinched, or otherwise compacted in a neat and organized fashion that takes far less space.
This is helpful because you’ll have control over two hazards: spilling during filling and loss of control during discharge. Both of these issues are amplified when you don’t know how full is too full, and ordering FIBCs that slightly exceed your standard load can remove a lot of risks.
If you use a container that is the exact size as your load, you may lose some material from spills at the end of the fill. Especially with powders and grains, the loss of material from dust and splashing must be controlled. Solids have a similar issue due to bouncing and loss of product as the container fills.
Adding about 10 to 15 percent of overhead size to FIBCs for your load is helpful but some materials may need more or less. While understanding the specifics may seem overwhelming, seeking the expertise and knowledge of FIBC experts is ideal, particularly the experts at Palmetto Industries.
Palmetto Industries is Your Ideal Source for FIBCs
At Palmetto Industries, we can figure out the ideal bag sizes, weight limits, material specifications, and safety solutions for your materials and final products. We are more than distributors of some of the world’s finest storage solutions; we are some of the finest storage solution manufacturers in the world, too. While we handle all things storage, we specialize in FIBCs.
We’re the global experts on FIBC products, and regardless of your needs or requirements, we can find the ideal solution that is cost-effective and beneficial for you and your firm. Come see what customers around the world have known for over 25 years – Palmetto is the go-to name in packaging. To schedule a consultation, call (706) 737-7999 or complete our online contact form.