What is an FIBC?

FIBC stands for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container. They are more commonly known as Bulk Bags/ BIG BAGS/ FIBC/ JUMBO BAGS. The packages are classified as intermediate containers because of their size; typically having filled weights between about 500 kgs to 2000 kgs. Use of FIBCs today permeates nearly all industries, where dry bulk solids are handled including food, chemicals, and even pharmaceuticals.

What is a bulk bag made from?

The most common material used in FIBC construction is 100% virgin polypropylene as per international standards.

What is woven polypropylene made from?

Woven polypropylene is made from extruded resin to tapes which is woven to make the fabric.

What sizes do bulk bags come in?

Bulk bags come in many different sizes and styles, and can be customized as per your needs. For suggestions please contact us at info@bulkflex.com

What does SWL mean?

SWL is an abbreviation for safe working load. A bulk bag’s safe working load is the amount of weight that the bag is rated and tested to hold and function safely.

What does 5:1 SF mean?

A standard bulk bag is rated at a 5:1 Safety Factor Ratio as per, which means that the bag is specified to hold 5 times the amount of the bags safe working load or jerk while transportation.

A 5:1 Safety Ratio is for single use. Bags that are designed for multi-use or multi-trip bags are made with an increased SF ratio. The SF for a multi-trip bag is 6:1.

Can bulk bags be stored outside?

Yes, however, bulk bags will degrade as a result of UV exposure. A standard bulk bag has a UV mix added into the fabric at the manufacturing level. It is always advicable to specify the exposure of the bags while placing the order.

What types of FIBCs are available and what applications are FIBCs (bulk bags) typically used for?

There are many common types of FIBCs available in the market place. The most commonly used bulk bags are constructed in the U Panel or Circular configuration and might incorporate a simple PE liner or no liner at all.

Below is a general list of commonly referred to terms used when describing an FIBC.

By Shape or Construction

  • Circular / Tubular
  • 4 Panel
  • U Panel
  • Baffle

By Application

  • Food Grade Bags
  • UN Bags
  • Conductive or Static Dissipative Bags

By Fabric Electrostatic Classification

  • Type A – No Electrostatic Protection
  • Type B – Surface Breakdown Voltage of <6kV
  • Type C – Electrically Conductive or Groundable
  • Type D – Static Dissipative

What is a U-Panel bag?

A U-Panel bag requires 2 seams along 2 opposite sides to create 2 panels and a “U” Panel shape.

What is a Circular / Tubular bag?

Circular bags are made from fabric that has been woven on a circular loom. The fabric is woven into a continuous tube of fabric and then cut to the correct size height.

What is a Four Panel bag?

A four panel bag is the original polypropylene design. This design requires seams along four separate pieces of fabric sewn to create a four panel bag.

What is a Baffle Bag? What are baffles?

Baffles are pieces of fabric that are sewn to the inside corners of a bag to maintain its cube shape after filling. The baffles have holes that allow the product to flow freely through them. The baffles also prevent the bag from bulging, which makes the bag stand up straight and in turn allows the bags to be more efficient in their use of space. And can be stacked up on each other.

What are Food Grade FIBC's?

Food grade bulk bags are made with resins meeting FDA standards with the intent of putting food products into the bags. Food grade FIBCs are manufactured in a clean room facility that can be certified by a food safety standard like AIB or BRC.

What is a food grade certified bulk bag?

A bulk bag that is manufactured in a facility that has undergone an audit and is certified by a food safety standard like the American Institute of Baking (AIB), British Retail Consortium (BRC) or ISO 22000.

What is UN Certification?

UN Certification is a testing certification done by an independent testing facility that put the specified bulk bag through a set of rigorous test, i.e. drop test, topple test, and top lift test.

How long is a UN Certified bulk bag certificate good for?

Usually 6 months to 1 year from certificate date.

Can FIBC's be used more than once?

FIBC’s can be used more than once if you have a bag with a 6:1 SF. Some users reuse a FIBC with a 5:1 SF but this is not recommended!

If you reuse a FIBC with a 5:1 SF you have to take into consideration that the fabric might be worn down or the loops could be breaking down, etc.

If you plan on using a bag more than once it is recommended that you custom order it with a 6:1 SF.

What is duffel top?

A duffel top is typically a 30″ high “skirt” sewn to the top of a bulk bag. The duffel usually comes with a tie allowing the user to secure the duffel closed and at the same time allowing the user full access to the product.

Can I reuse a bulk bag?

Yes, bulk bags can be reused. This requires a multi-trip bulk bag, which is made with a 6:1 Safety Factor. This type of bag is designed to be used for a specific amount of uses.

Are bulk bags recyclable?

Yes, new bulk bags are made from 100% virgin polypropylene

What is a Type "A" bag?

A type “A” bag is constructed from non-treated insulating fabric.  No requirements are specified for type “A” bulk bag as they are not intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.  No static protection.

  • Used safely to transport non-flammable products.
  • There are to be no flammable solvents or gases present around the bag.
  • DO NOT USE to transport flammable products.

What is a Type "B" bag?

A type “B” bag is constructed from insulating fabric but has a breakdown voltage less than 6kV.  This provision prevents the risk of energetic propagating brush discharges which can ignite dust-air mixture.  Type “B” bags may be used in the presence of the combustible dusts with MIE of greater than 3mj but in the absence of flammable vapors of gases. Low breakdown voltage.

  • Used safely to transport dry, flammable powders.
  • There are to be no flammable solvents or gases present around the bag.
  • DO NOT USE to transport flammable products.

What is a Type "C" bag?

A type “C” bag is constructed from fabrics having inter-connected conductive threads.  The bag must be electrically grounded during filling and emptying.

  • Used safely to transport flammable powders.
  • Used safely when flammable solvents or gases are present around the bag.
  • DO NOT USE when ground connection is not present or has become damaged.

What is a Type "D" bag?

A type “D” bag is constructed from antistatic fabric that includes static dissipative, like Crohmiq type bulk bag.  This type of bulk bag does not require grounding.

  • Used safely to transport flammable powders.
  • Used safely when flammable solvents or gases are present around the bag.
  • DO NOT USE when the surface is contaminated or coated with conductive material such as water or grease.

What are the different parts of an FIBC or Bulk Bag?

•  Top
•  Inlets and Openings
•  Body
•  Webbing or Lift Loops
•  Bottom
•  Outlets or Discharge Spouts
•  Ties, Clips, and Buckles
•  Other Specialty Parts

What is a fill spout?

A standard fill spout is a spout with a 14″ diameter opening in the top (center) of the bag and is usually 18″ long.  It’s designed to allow the user to fill the bag, minimizing dust occurrences as the bag is being filled. The length of a standard fill spout is 18″ long. Spouts can be customized to fit any individual application.

What is the difference between duffel top and open top?

The main difference between the duffel top and open top is the duffel itself. An open top bag is simply a bulk bag without a top closure, keeping the product exposed.

What is a cone top?

A variation of an inlet, where the top is a pyramid shape to allow over filling of the bulk bag. This is also called a conical top.

How do you pick up a bulk bag?

Bulk bags are lifted by one of several types of lifting applications. Some examples are standard 10″ lift loops, lifting sleeves, single point crane lift, and stevedore straps. There are other designs that are made to lift bulk bags as well. Lifting options can vary and are all custom-tailored.

What are lift loops (straps)?

Lift loops are the means by which a forklift raises the bag with its forks. In other words, woven polypropylene and multifilament yarn loops attached to the 4 top corners of the bulk bag to enable a fork truck operator to put the fork in and lift the bag. Standard lift loops are 10″ but can be customized to any workable size.

What is a lifting sleeve (tunnel loops)?

A lifting sleeve is a tube of polypropylene fabric used as a lifting application, designed to allow the forks of a forklift to fit into the sleeves and lift the bag.

Can I use a crane to lift a bulk bag?

Yes, however you must use a special lifting device or loops specifically designed for a crane lift. You must follow the correct manufacturer recommendations when lifting a bulk bag.

What is a stevedore strap?

It is a belt connecting either two adjacent lift loops, or two adjacent belt sewn portions, used for single point lifting. A belt or strap is usually flat, while a rope is braided.

What is fabric weight?

The measure of the fabric weight in GSM

What different fabric weights are there?

Fabric weights are directly related to the amount of product that the bulk bag will be holding or the safe working load (SWL) of the bulk bag. The higher SWL bag will in most cases have a heavier fabric weight.

What is denier?

The weight of yarn in grams per 9000 meters.

When referring to fabric weight what exactly is GSM?

GSM is a commonly used scale for fabric weight used internationally. It stands for grams per square meter.

How do I convert my fabric weight in ounces to GSM?

1 oz. is equal to 34 GSM