Is outdoor storage ideal for FIBCs? We often come across this question. The short answer to this question is: No. Storing your FIBCs outside can not contaminate or poorly impact the quality of the product within them, but also affect the deplete the strength and capacity of the big bag - becoming a major safety hazard.
The long answer is what we will attempt to break down for you in the following section. Read on!
UV radiation: Sunlight can break down products of plastic, polypropylene and other synthetic polymers, loosening the molecules in the material and affecting their tensile strength.
Other weather conditions: Exposure to extreme high/low temperatures as well as rain and other climatic conditions can affect the integrity of the FIBCs. FIBCs are not capable of protecting the product stored in them, especially from water.
Rodents/pests: It goes without saying that outdoor storage exposes the FIBCs to rodents and other pests. This is especially true if agricultural or food-based products are stored in the bags.
When it comes to good quality FIBCs, the polypropylene is usually mixed with polymer stabilizers - a chemical additive - during the manufacturing process. These stabilizers improve the strength of the bulk bags and build their resistance against UV rays to a great extent. This ensures that bulk bags are safe during temporary exposure to sunlight during the collection of materials or transport.
However, through continued exposure, these polymer stabilizers tend to break down. Therefore, it is not recommended to store the FIBCs outdoors for long/extended periods of time.
At Virgo Polymers, we recommend that outdoor storage and sun/rain exposure be minimised to the extent possible. If, however, there is an inevitable situation where your FIBCs need to be temporarily used outdoors:
FIBCs are built to last long, withstand the weight of heavy products and stay durable while lifting, transporting, stacking and so on. At the same time, all this will hold true only if these FIBCs are handled safely.
Opt only for FIBCs from a reliable manufacturer and get detailed guidelines from them before you use.