The FIBC, or Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container, as we know is a highly effective method of packing, storing and transporting goods. Their range is immense from transporting food and agricultural products, chemicals, and building materials but with all this transportation there is a chance that powder, flake or dust forms.
And that’s where one needs to be aware of the threat of electrostatic ignitions, or in simpler terms dust explosions.
They happen when electrostatic discharges trigger volatile material in the FIBCs. This usually happens during the filling or emptying of the bag as this is the time the material is most "agitated".
Static builds up when the material brushes against the surface of an insulating FIBC or liner, and can sometimes ignite flammable gas, vapour and dust atmospheres. Spark discharges can also occur from conductive parts of bags that need to be grounded but are not.
Dust explosions result in loss of product and can be hazardous to personnel and equipment. Bulk bag users need to be aware of how to choose bulk bags.
There are four types of FIBCs to choose from. If you have conductive powders or material with a volume resistivity (a measure of how strongly it resists electric current) below around 1060 hm.m, you may need to use Type C groundable bags. But if using these Type C bags, ensure they are grounded, as ungrounded Type C bags have a greater risk of explosion than Type A (such as what Virgo Polymer manufactures) or Type B bags.
Use of Type D bags depends on the situation as they can protect the material they carry but generate a localized electrostatic field that could polarize conductive objects nearby.
Liners prevent leakage but they can increase the chances of electrostatic discharge and dust explosion, so if you are packaging potentially combustible material, find the type of liner that is safe to use.
A plastic poly liner inside the bag could be a solution as this prevents dust from getting through the woven bag itself.
If you need help choosing bulk bags for your transportation and storage needs, consult with the expert guides at Virgo Polymer Private Limited. Contact us online right now to learn more.