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Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC's)

There is a growing interest in FIBCs to speed handling and reduce in-house costs. Many of IMERYS’ powdered products can now be supplied in FIBCs containing 1000 kilo. It is hoped that this information will be found useful to anyone considering a change from 25 kilo paper sacks.



There are a great many different designs of FIBC.After much testing IMERYS have found that a standard single trip FIBC constructed from woven polypropylene which has a protective coating is most suitable. It has 4 top corner lifting loops, a top filling spout and a bottom discharge spout and has a safety factor of 5:1. FIBC dimensions vary according to the bulk and packing density of the products it needs to contain. The dimensions of FIBCs for specific IMERYS products are provided separately on request.



All single trip FIBCs supplied to IMERYS are new. Filling is carried out via the top spout on especially installed equipment. Vibration is used to remove as much entrapped air as possible to aid stability. As the system is enclosed there is no opportunity for contaminants to enter the product.



For 1000 kilos FIBCs a payload of 20 tonnes is normal for 40ft trailers or containers or 22 tonnes on a 13 meter trailer. It is recommended that only covered trailers with side supports are used for the transportation of FIBCs and that FIBCs are secured according to local regulations.



As settlement can occur after filling and during transportation some sagging can take place. Care
should therefore be taken if it is intended to overstack FIBCs.



When an FIBC is lifted by the corner lifting loops care should be taken to ensure that all 4 loops are employed. An FIBC should never be lifted by 1 or 2 loops only. Care should also be taken to ensure that the hooks, bars or fork lift tines used for lifting have rounded edges to prevent damage (cutting) to the lifting loops.



It is not recommended that the FIBCs used for IMERYS materials be stored in the open as they are not guaranteed waterproof.When stacking care should be taken as settlement can occur. The bottom FIBC should be on a pallet and stacks should be supported by a wall and be in pyramid fashion. It should be noted that FIBCs can generate static electricity.



FIBCs can be emptied by suction but it is more normal to discharge by gravity via the bottom discharge spout. The rate of discharge will depend on the equipment employed and the product involved (the coarser the product the more free flowing). When using gravity discharge the flow may be controlled by restricting the outlet and may be stopped completely by lowering the FIBC onto the discharged load. It is essential that personnel never stand below an FIBC while discharging.


Re-Use of FIBCs

Single trip FIBCs are not recommended for re-use.


FIBCs can be disposed of safely into normal landfill sites. None of the materials supplied in them by IMERYS are considered hazardous.


Do's & Don'ts


Do ensure that lifting gear has the rated capacity to take the fully suspended FIBC.

Do ensure that all edges of fork lift tines are smooth to prevent cutting and abrasion

Do adjust fork lift tines to the correct width to ensure that the lifting loops on the FIBC remain vertical when under load.

Do tilt fork lift mast backwards to prevent loops slipping forwards when in transit.

Do ensure if crane hooks are used that they are of the "captive hook" type with no sharp edges.

Do consider the possibility and effects of static electricity.

Do protect the FIBCs from rain and prolonged sunlight.

Do consider the environment when disposing of FIBCs.



Do Not rest FIBCs against, or hit them with sharp objects that could cause punctures and leakage.

Do Not lift FIBCs by less than 4 loops.

Do Not start or stop fork lift suddenly during transportation to prevent FIBC from swinging.

Do Not subject FIBCs to snatch lifts or drops as these can cause damage.

Do Not allow personnel under a suspended FIBC at any time.

Do Not tilt the masts of the fork lift forward during transit.

Do Not withdraw the fork lift tines until the full weight of the FIBC has been removed from them.

Do Not stack FIBCs unless completely sure of stability.

Do Not drag FIBCs along the ground.

Do Not attempt to lift or move FIBCs by either the filling or discharge spouts.


For product specific information please contact us.


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