FIBCs have been around for decades but the technology and materials used in making FIBCs keep evolving. Therefore, it is important to keep on top of the information. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions from the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association and the answers to these questions. Knowing your FIBCs a little better can help you store and use them better!
There are several contributing factors that can help determine how long the shelf life of a particular FIBC. These factors can vary greatly from one manufacturer to the next and the weight of the fabric used to make them, the type of threading or webbing used, the kind of UV inhibitor used while making the bag and several other factors during the manufacturing process can help determine the life of a bag.
Other than the manufacturing aspect, the handling of the bag can also determine how long it will remain useful including factors like exposure to environmental hazards like UV rays, extreme temperatures, high levels of humidity, the storage methods used and the contents stored in the bags can all be contributing factors.
Periodic testing must be conducted on all the bags to ensure that they meet the ISO 21898 standards as long as they are in use. You can also conduct performance testing in the form of UV testing, top lift, etc. and compare the results of the tests with that of the newer FIBCs.
It is always recommended to store the FIBCs in a covered or sheltered storage unit where it stays away from direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions like rain, snow, hail, etc. It has been proven that UV rays and moisture do weaken the strength of bulk bags but it is also to be noted that there is no guarantee that keeping them away from UV or inclement weather will completely protect them against weakening.
There are a few things that must be noted when using FIBCs, some of which include ensuring that the bag’s strength is not compromised in any of form because of punctures, holes, etc. as it might lead to a complete disintegration of the bag; it is important that you use all the loops provided in the FIBC when lifting the bag; the loops must never be gathered and the weight must be distributed equally amongst the loops when lifting; make sure that no person is standing under the FIBC when it is suspended in the air.